Sundram: Time for fringe Singapore players to step up

Singapore coach V.Sundramoorthy has challenged the players selected in his new national squad to prove they belong at the highest level, regardless of their age or current club...

Sundram has chosen his first group of players for this week’s four-nation AYA Bank Cup and while winning will always be an objective, he is more concerned with his charges acclimatising to his coaching style.

The reason we are calling them in is to give them some playing time to see how they fare

He also aims to assess the capability of players such as Azhar Sairudin and Amy Recha, who have been called up for the first time.

"We are preparing the team for the Suzuki Cup, we want to get the players playing the way we want to play," Sundram told FourFourTwo.

"Let's see what they show in these two games and then we can prepare for the Suzuki Cup.

"Sure we have players like Azhar and Amy coming in, the reason we are calling them in is to give them some playing time to see how they fare."

Sundram's biggest headache for his first test lies in defence, with several players unavailable due to various reasons.

Sundram's squad in training

Warriors FC captain and defender Zulfadli Zainal has been called up as a result, after the withdrawal and international retirement of Noh Rahman.

But the former Tampines Rovers coach was coy about his starting line-up, especially with regards to Baihakki Khaizan's partner in central defence.

We will see who's doing well in training, but it is not decided who will start the game

"I'm looking for a right-back with Juma'at (Jantan) injured, looking for a left-back with Shakir Hamzah injured ... so we are looking for replacements to come in and solve the problems for the national team," he said.

"Again it depends, we will see how it goes, who's doing well in training and who is fit to play in the position.

“But it is not decided who will start the game.

"It can be Hariss (Harun) or Safuwan (Baharudin) dropping in for cover, but when we have the full squad maybe we can push Safuwan back (further) up (the pitch)." 

Photos: FAS