National Team - Lionesses ● Apr 28, 2022
Lionesses conclude training camp ahead of 31st SEA Games
CHONBURI, 28 APRIL 2022 – Filled with determination and desire, the Singapore Women’s National Team left Thailand earlier today after an intensive and fruitful eight-day training camp in Chonburi.
Part of the Lionesses’ preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where they are set to make an appearance for the first time since 2003, Stephen Ng’s charges arrived last Wednesday and geared up to play three training matches.
Head Coach Ng was clear that the players needed more match practice and minutes under their belt, and they received it almost immediately – the day after landing, the Lionesses faced current Thai Women’s League (TWL) 2 leaders Chonburi Sport School.
At the New Thailand Sports University, all 21 players played a part and defender Umairah Hamdan noted that it was a good experience to face such technically-sound opponents despite conceding once before the break.
Umairah Hamdan, 21 April 2022
“Our biggest takeaway was working on communication because the opponents were very fast, and we had to be united to keep our defensive block intact,” she said. “It is also instinctive now in the squad to cover for each other and to have the initiative to make runs and constantly provide options.
“Compared to our friendly matches with Seychelles and Papua New Guinea (earlier this month), the Thai opponents play quick and short passes in the midfield. That proved to be a great test for us and something we adapted to, which gave us confidence that we can match up to it.”
Stephanie Dominguez (no. 4) with Farhanah Ruhaizat, 24 April 2022
Vice-captain Stephanie Gigette Dominguez concurred, adding that the Lionesses took their newfound confidence into the following practice match against Chonburi FC, runners-up of Thailand’s top division last year.
Held at the Chonburi Stadium, Dominguez was proud of how her side reacted and adapted to the higher intensity and aggression levels. “We worked hard for each ball, especially knowing that they were tough opponents, and I am proud because we put on an impressive account,” the midfielder said. “Although we conceded two goals in the first half, we were able to settle down, make plays and have several attempts on goal.
“The team truly has the desire within us. We know that our Group B opponents are tough (at the SEA Games) and that we are going in as underdogs, but we want so badly to show that we are improving. We are glad to be part of the Games and we are going to make the most of this opportunity – not just to participate, but to leave an impression that Singapore women’s football is growing.”
Putri Syaliza, 27 April 2022
After two more training sessions, the Lionesses were on the hunt to score goals in their final practice match against Phranakorn FC Women’s, a new club that will join the TWL next season and has several former senior and youth Thai internationals in their ranks.
Singapore had several attempts on goal within the first five minutes, kept the majority of possession and worked on building from the back line through defenders Umairah, Syazwani Ruzi, Ernie Sulastri and Nurhidayu Naszri. Midfielders Izzati Rosni, Putri Syaliza and Dorcas Chu also all converted through headers via corners.
Dorcas Chu (no. 20) celebrates, 27 April 2022
Chu, 19, said: “We wanted to end the training camp on a high and we were on the same page that we wanted to score. We knew that we needed a win and we focused more on finishing. There were more than 10 goal-scoring opportunities and we were especially aggressive in the midfield.
“The training camp turned out to be very helpful as we now feel better equipped to take on opponents. In the past, before we would face countries like Thailand, we would go in with a defeated mindset, hoping to concede as little as possible. That has completely changed now. We are bonded as a team and we want to challenge ourselves to do better each game.”
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Coach Ng, who continuously instilled the need for character and performance, said: “It was a good assessment for us, and it gave us the opportunity to see that we indeed are capable of matching up to a higher pace. They have belief in themselves, that they are able to challenge our neighbouring countries as we continue our development.”
The team will continue their SEA Games preparation in Singapore and a final squad of 20 will depart for Hanoi, Vietnam on 7 May. They will first take on Thailand on 10 May, before facing Laos three days later and Myanmar on 15 May.
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