Suria adapting to rigours of international football

Newly-minted Singapore international Suria Prakash has admitted he still has a long way to go to reach his potential, even as he collected his first two caps against Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.

Making his international debut against PNG on Saturday, the Warriors FC winger showed glimpses of his ability to accelerate and get past defenders.

Although only given a late run-out against Hong Kong, he was still satisfied to have made the squad.

“I’m really surprised to get this call-up, actually,” he said.

“It wasn’t my best, but I think I did quite well for the senior team over these two matches. I really hope to get the chance again.”

Speaking to FourFourTwo after the match against Hong Kong at Hougang Stadium on Tuesday evening, the wiry 21-year-old revealed that he had started basic gym work to cope with physically stronger opponents at the upcoming Asian Games.

A lack of physique has been the weak link in Suria’s game for some time now, and the Warriors starlet started basic gym work to bulk up after joining up with the Singapore National Team a couple of weeks ago.

“I’m training to be tougher right now,” he said.

“Previously at Warriors FC, I only underwent fitness training. Now I’ve starting hitting the gym under our national fitness coach Sasha (Aleksandar Bozenko).”

It has been an excellent year for Suria who broke into the S.League with Warriors FC, having featured in Balestier Khalsa’s Prime League-winning squad for the past two years.

Acknowledging the surprise start in his club’s 1-0 triumph against Brunei DPMM back in April as ‘the turning point’ of his fledgling career, he was keen to credit club coaches Alex Weaver and Kevin Wee.

“I just have to thank Alex and Kevin,” he said.

“Kevin was my coach at Balestier for two years and he was the one who groomed me to what I am today.

“Everytime if I had a good game, he will always tell me not to think too highly of myself and to keep on trying to get better.

“As for Alex, he always teaches me how to change my game – not to always dribble, but to play a one-two behind defenders or release the ball faster at times.” 

Singapore will face Middle Eastern opposition in Oman, Tajikistan and Palestine in Incheon and Suria acknowledged the challenge this would pose.

“I think I’m coping well,” he said.

“In these two matches (against Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong), I know what to expect at this level – the pace is quicker, the opponents give a lot of pressure and press a lot faster.

“So far, the senior players like Hariss [Harun] and Anu (Anumanthan Mohan Kumar) has been giving me good tips.

“Also I’ve played against strong and fast opponents before in the Austria trip which has helped my game a lot.

“I think I will be able to show what I’m good at.”