Replies to Media ● Dec 21, 2016

FAS’ Reply to Media Query Regarding the Release of Players From the Garena Young Lions FC


“We signed players for the Garena Young Lions (GYL) team for the 2016 season in November last year – with the key objective of preparing for the next edition of the SEA Games, which is typically an Under-23 competition. Senior players like Khairul Amri, Firdaus Kasman and Christopher Van Huizen were also signed for their strong leadership to guide the team which has an average age of 21.15 – the youngest in the S.League this year.

“We received confirmation that the age-limit for the next edition of the SEA Games (scheduled in 2017) will be lowered to Under-22 sometime this year. This meant that players born in 1994 and earlier would not be able to represent the country at the 2017 SEA Games. By then, eight players (who would not be eligible for the 2017 SEA Games) had already joined the club.

“In October 2016, Technical Director Michel Sablon and Head Coach, National Youth Teams Richard Tardy discussed and decided that the GYL team for 2017 would comprise players aged 22 and below, and who would be eligible for the 2017 SEA Games. This is to ensure optimal preparations for the 2017 SEA Games. Hence, we communicated to the group of nine over-aged players accordingly. For background information, these nine players are Firdaus Kasman, Christopher Van Huizen, Khairul Amri, Ashrul Syafeeq, Fareez Farhan, Tajeli Selamat, Shannon Stephen, Zakir Samsudin and Marcus Wheeler.

“At the same time, the coaches decided ‚Äì after assessment and due consideration ‚Äì that it would be in the best interest of another group of six players that they pursue playing opportunities at other clubs for the 2017 season. For background information, these six players are Adam Swandi, Gareth Low Jun Kiat, Kenji Syed Rusydi, Jonathan Tan Zen Yang, Irfan Asyraf, and Zulfadhmi Suzliman (whose contract ends on 31st December 2016).

“All players who are on a two-year contract have been informed that we will honour their contractual terms for the 2017 season. We are engaged in discussions with the S.League clubs and will strive to ensure that players (who are on a two-year contract) receive a new playing contract with the same terms at the very least.

“In the event that any player is unable to secure a club, we have assured them that they will remain with the Garena Young Lions for the 2017 season.‚Äù

“The players were informed in November that their contracts will be honoured.

“We are quietly confident of helping the players secure a club in 2017.”


– S.Varatha Rajan, General Manager, Youth Development/JCOE