Young Lions pay homage to alma maters ahead of SEA Games

Singapore's U23 team donned jerseys of their former school teams on Sunday to pay homage to their alma maters, ahead of the upcoming SEA Games on home soil.

The Young Lions' tribute to their former schools is part of the COME TOGETHER campaign that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is launching to get fans to come together to support the team at the SEA Games.

Irfan Fandi, Adam Swandi, Al Qaasimy Rahman and Shakir Hamzah were among the players modelling jerseys of the last school team they played in, as they hammed it up for the cameras.

"I enjoyed my time in ITE College Central but at the same time I would not be in contention for the SEA Games squad today if not for what my coaches taught me when I was much younger, in primary and secondary school," said Ho Wai Loon, one of Balestier Khalsa's two representatives in the extended squad.

"That was where I picked up the basics of the game, and the good experience spurred me on to eventually play football professionally now."

Young Lions head coach Aide Iskandar agreed whole heartedly.

"If their first coaches had not inculcated the love and passion for football when they were still children, we may not have this squad of players today," he said.

"This photoshoot is a great opportunity for the team to show their appreciation to not just the schools, but also the teachers and coaches that groomed them on and off the pitch."

Singapore Sports School and Singapore Polytechnic alumnus Amirul Adli also chimed in, saying he hoped students would make their way down to cheer on the Young Lions this June.

"We are proud of where we came from, and we hope our schools are just as proud of us," he said.

"All of us hope to see not just our former schoolmates but also our juniors come together to cheer us on at the SEA Games as one nation, because their support will give us a huge boost."

The Young Lions will play the first match in Group A of the SEA Games on 1 June against the Philippines at Jalan Besar Stadium, kicking off at 8.30pm.

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Photos: Football Association of Singapore