They will be representing the Republic in the upcoming AFC Under-22 qualifiers in Indonesia. Robin Chitrakar’s boys gathered for the first time as the Indonesia bound Cubs underwent a 90 minutes training session at the Jurong Stadium on Friday evening.
The Cubs are drawn in Group E alongside host Indonesia, Asian powerhouses Japan and Australia as well as Macau and Timor Leste in a tournament which will commence on July 5 instead of the proposed date of June 23, due to unknown reasons.
A 28-man provisional squad had been named, and it was observed that several players who are not part of the Courts Young Lions’ rooster in the current Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League have been included in the squad. It is understood that the likes of Safuwan Baharudin and Khairul Nizam are not part of the squad.
Head coach Robin Chitrakar believes that the team that is available at his disposal will do well enough to produce a decent showing in Indonesia.
“You can see a lot of talented youngsters from various clubs available, and it is now about getting these boys to play together,” Robin told aXrosstheline.com
“All of them are eager, and want to claim their place in the team. It is definitely a good opportunity for these players to have this chance to be part of the team.”
“Almost half of them have worked with me for two to three years, but we have to see how well they gel with the other players,” he added.
Robin, in his second major tournament as head coach insists that his boys will fight the rest of the opponents in the group to the wire and give them a run for their money.
“There is no point in travelling to Indonesia if we’re thinking of only being there for participation. We want to do well, and we want to win matches. It is our objective to qualify for the next round. I believe the boys will not want to come home early as well,” Robin said.
The postponement of the qualifiers will also mean that certain clubs will be affected. Already, some matches in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League will be affected by this change.
“At the moment, I am not very sure on what’s going to happen. With regards to players’ availability issues, the management and the clubs have to sit down to discuss about this.”
“LionsXII will be playing some games during that period, but we will see what happens,” said Robin.
A total of 28 players have been named in the provisional squad, and that includes senior team players Delwinder Singh, Raihan Rahman and Safirul Sulaiman. The squad is yet to be finalized.
Photos of the first training session can be found HERE
Singapore Under-22 Provisional squad
Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Madhu Mohana, Ali Hudzaifi, Faris Ramli, Shamil Sharif, Aqhari Abdullah, Ignatius Ang, Sufianto Salleh, Fareez Farhan, Al-Faiz Ishak, Ng Jiafa, Syazwan Buhari, Farhan Rahmat, Gary Loo, Zulfairuuz Rudy, Basil Teo, Zulfahmi Arifin, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, Samuel Benjamin, Amy Recha, Neezam Aziz, Nurullah Hussien, Tajeli Selamat, Anumanthan Kumar, Delwinder Singh, Safirul Sulaiman, Raihan Rahman