TRANSFER TALK: S.League to benefit from LionsXII exodus

A round-up of the movements of the LionsXII players as the S.League season comes to a close, and preparations get underway for 2013.
     By Khalis Rifhan

After a year with the LionsXII, several prominent names look set to leave the Malaysian Super League runners-up with squad set to undergo a major revamp for the upcoming season.

The main reason for the changes might be down to the South-east Asia Games at the end of 2013 in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, with the Football Association of Singapore [FAS] reportedly keen to focus on development for the tournament .

The most prominent figures to have allegedly been released from the team are goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at, right-back Juma’at Jantan and defensive midfielder Isa Halim.

The trio is set to be joined by midfielder Hariss Harun, who might be pursuing his dream of playing in Europe after the completion of his National Service. understands that Hyrulnizam will be re-joining his former S.League club and current Singapore Cup champions, Singapore Armed Forces FC.

An agent, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that despite having offers from across the causeway, Hyrul decided to return to the club he came from prior to joining the LionsXII.

Another uniformed group, Home United are also certain to benefit from the LionsXII exodus as they are rumoured to have secured the services of their former players Juma’at, Isa and Sufian Anuar.

After their last league match against Courts Young Lions, coach Lee Lim Saeng promised to ‘build a new team for 2013’ after several players, including Singapore internationals Qiu Li and Shi Jiayi, were allegedly released from the club.

Another player that has moved back to the S.League is defender Sevki Sha’ban.

The news was broken to the public via a current S.League player's personal Twitter account. Sevki has supposedly agreed to join Gombak United, who finished ninth in the recently concluded S.League.

Others that are believed to have been released from the LionsXII include the likes of Agu Casmir, Shaiful Esah, Khairul Amri, Firdaus Kasman and Taufiq Rahmat, with Shahdan Sulaiman in the midst of contract negotiations.

In a recent press release by FAS, head coach V.Sundramoorthy said: “It has been a positive season for Singapore football and we hope fans will continue to support Singapore football, including the National Team and the S.League, as we approach the end of the 2012 footballing season.

“We have since entered into discussions with the players shortlisted for the 2013 LionsXII squad and we will announce the full details, including the squad list, after the AFF Suzuki Cup.”

Muhammad Ridhuan, who was earlier reported in the press to be joining in the LionsXII, also looks likely to stay in Indonesia after Noh Alam Shah confirmed in an exclusive with that the two former Singapore internationals will be looking to find new clubs there.