Fazrul pleased with brief Lions return
While Singapore National Team coach Bernd Stange opted to try out the likes of Sahil Suhaimi and Iqbal Hussain alongside veterans Shahril Ishak and Khairul Amri in attack during their three-game training tour in Austria, one man was peculiarly left to play a peripheral role.
Despite being the top local scorer in the S.League with eight goals, Fazrul did not get much of a look-in for the friendlies against FC Brno, Torpedo Moscow and Dynamo Moscow.
He came off the bench for all three matches and featured only for a total of 40 minutes.
Despite the lack of minutes, the Home United forward was simply glad to return to the fold for the first time since his horrific forehead injury late last year.
“It’s my first time back in the squad since that injury, so I’m just happy to be back,” he told FourFourTwo.
“It was a good experience for us to prepare for the Juventus game and the Suzuki Cup. I learnt how fast and physical these top teams are, although I didn’t play much. Even though Dynamo did not play their full team, we still can’t match them.”
Apart from the friendlies, the players had to go through two training sessions daily under chilly conditions – something which they do not get to experience back in Singapore. It was a regime which Fazrul admitted was tough on the boys since they were going through the Ramadan period.
“It’s difficult for us as most of us were fasting,” he shared.
“The timing for breaking fast over there is around 9 to 10pm and it’s really hard to cope with that for the first few days. Also the games are played in the afternoon, so it’s difficult for us. A few of us like Hariss (Harun), Hassan (Sunny), Faritz (Hameed) and Hafiz (Sujad) did not manage to fast on game days.”
While returning from the trip a satisfied man, he admits that he faces a tough battle to keep his spot in the national team.
“’I just have to work harder now and see how it goes,” he said.
“Coach Bernd has told me to keep working hard and do what I’ve doing at my club. I’ll keep fighting for my place and hopefully he will select me for the Suzuki Cup.”