Delwinder wants a real international cap
Tanjong Pagar United FC captain, Delwinder Singh won his first international cap for Singapore in the friendly against Philippines back in 2011 when he came on as a late substitute.
Despite winning his first cap under head coach Radojko Avramovic, the defender is desperate to feature in a proper 90 minutes rather than his cameo appearance in the match against Philippines.
Speaking to national team media officer Kelvin Leong at the team hotel in Dubai U.A.E., Delwinder was hesitant to delve into the topic of his first cap.
He said: “Yes I am very happy to have been given the opportunity by Coach Raddy (Avramovic) to win my first cap against Philippines but on a personal level, I do not consider it as my first international cap. It is just on paper that I featured in the match but I will continue to fight hard to start a game for the Lions. I want to prove that I can do it and the only way is to keep plugging and working on my game.”
With many players, some with more experience than the former NFA boy filtering in and out of the national team in the past 12 months, coach Avramovic has shown faith in the Tanjong Pagar man as he is one of the few players who has been involved in every 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone Qualifying campaign since Round Two against Malaysia.
Having travelled with the Lions to places like Malaysia, China, Jordan and now Dubai, Delwinder is grateful to the coaches and management whom he reckons is the reason he is here with the Lions.
“If not for Coach Raddy, I will not be here. So I want to repay his faith by giving my all be it during training or even in a match. I cannot forget the guidance given to me by my club coach, Terry Pathmanathan who took me from nowhere and made me a better player who got called up to the national team after barely six months of playing in the S.League. These two coaches have given me a lot of guidance. A lot.” added Delwinder.
Having trained for almost a year as part of the Lions setup, the youngest captain in the S.League has the luxury of seeing veterans like Mustafic Fahrudin, Daniel Bennett and Shahril Ishak up close in training. An honour he treasures dearly but even more importantly, a great opportunity for him to pick up pointers.
The grateful youngster said: “Getting the chance to train alongside Daniel Bennett and Baihakki Khaizan has been wonderful. The composure they have on the ball even when they are pressured by opposing forwards is something I am trying to learn. The other player who has taught me a lot of Aleksandar Duric. At his age, he is still one of the best in the business and traveling with him made me realize the dedication and commitment required to have a proper athlete’s regime if you want to be a top sportsman.”
Throughout the interview, Delwinder reiterated the fact that he still feels like he is living a dream. A dream that many aspiring 19-year-old footballers would love to have. Being a team member of the mighty Lions.
While some teens his age would have been overawed by the occasion, Delwinder is hungry for more and he has one goal for the rest of the year which he is desperate to fulfil.
“I want to be part of the AFF Suzuki Cup squad at the end of the year and I know the only way to get there is to play every game for Tanjong Pagar United FC to the best of my ability and show coach Raddy how much I want a spot in the team!” exclaimed the Republic Polytechnic student.
By the time the Suzuki Cup campaign kicks off, Delwinder Singh will be 20 years of age. Will he be one of the youngest players to ever represent the Lion City in the premium tournament of ASEAN football? Only time will tell.