If newly-appointed Singapore coach Bernd Stange wanted to make headlines with his first-ever national team squad, he certainly has everyone’s attention now.
The German today called up 17-year-old Adam Swandi for the upcoming friendlies against Myanmar and Laos on June 4 and 7 respectively, for which he has named a 23-man squad.
The former National Football Academy Under-16 captain signed for the academy of French side FC Metz in February, and is joined by LionsXII midfielders Gabriel Quak and Faris Ramli, and Tanjong Pagar United’s Hafiz Nor in the Lions team for the first time.
Other notable inclusions are Courts Young Lions centreback Afiq Yunos, who only returned to S.League action recently, as well as Woodlands Wellington pair Rosman Sulaiman and Shariff Samat, while Home United’s Indra Sahdan has been rewarded for his recent impressive form as well.
Balestier Khalsa forward Qiu Li is the only naturalised player in the team, as Stange’s new broom sweeps clean by dispensing with the likes of Daniel Bennett, Shi Jiayi and Mustafic Fahrudin.
Team manager Azrulnizam Shah believes the blend of experience and youth will help the Lions achieve a “judicious balance” between maintaining competitiveness and development of youngsters.
“There are several players who have been called up for the first time and we look forward to the experienced players, including those from the AFF Suzuki Cup winning team, guiding the younger ones,” he said in a Football Association of Singapore statement.
“Going forward, players who perform consistently well for their club and who also demonstrate their commitment will always be considered for a call-up to the national team.”
Goal Singapore understands that Hougang United goalkeeper Fadhil Salim has been called up to train with the team, and will replace either goalkeeper in case of injury, but he will not be traveling with the team.
The team will depart for Yangon, Myanmar on Sunday.
Full Singapore squad
Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud.
Defenders: Faritz Hameed, Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, Baihakki Khaizan, Afiq Yunos, Noh Rahman, Shaiful Esah, Rosman Sulaiman, Shariff Samat.
Midfielders: Faris Ramli, Gabriel Quak, Shahril Ishak, Isa Halim, Hariss Harun, Adam Swandi, Hafiz Nor, Shahdan Sulaiman.
Forwards: Qiu Li, Khairul Amri, Indra Sahdan, Sufian Anuar.