National Team - Lions ● Aug 29, 2018
New trio in the Lions Den
SINGAPORE, 29 AUGUST 2018: Lions Head Coach Fandi Ahmad named a 26-man squad earlier today for the National Team’s International Friendlies against Mauritius and Fiji on 7 and 11 September respectively, which will be played at Bishan Stadium.
There are five uncapped players amongst Fandi’s picks, three of whom have been called up at senior level for the very first time.
We take a quick look at the new trio – Zulfadhmi Suzliman, Zulqarnaen Suzliman and Jacob Mahler.
(Photo from www.hassanalbolkiahtrophy.gov.bn)
Club: Young Lions
Position: Centre midfielder, centre defender
The youngest member of this squad – Ikhsan Fandi is the next at one year older – has enjoyed a meteoric rise by all accounts. Part of the FAS Football Academy 18 side before the season began, Mahler impressed as a last-minute call-up for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy Tournament in April and was subsequently promoted to the Young Lions side. Fandi gave Mahler, who turned 18 in April, his professional debut in July. A centre midfielder by trade, he has not looked out of place in centre defence and has completed each of the eight Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) games he has started. Read more about him here: bit.ly/2MBm1qa
Club: Young Lions
Position: Winger, Right-back
Having established himself in the Young Lions set-up last season, Zulqarnaen has built on that and become a more complete player this term. The winger favours the right, though he is capable of switching flanks and has plenty of pace to burn. A reliable performer, the 20-year-old has also adapted to a right-back position after being tried out in the position by Fandi due to an injury crisis earlier this season. “Mamat”, as he is known, will be an asset to the team with his versatility. Read more about him here: bit.ly/2wovsOG
Club: Tampines Rovers FC
Like his younger brother Zulqarnaen, Zulfadhmi is fleet of foot and adept at tearing defences apart down either wing. The former Young Lions player has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Tampines, making close to 30 appearances across all competitions, including the AFC Cup. The 22-year-old is starting to realise the potential he displayed as a youngster and while he is not the most imposing of players, Zulfadhmi’s low centre of gravity and twinkle toes makes him a nightmare to come up against. Read more about him here: bit.ly/2Pckh3w