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The new Lions coach wants to place his faith in younger players, but insisted the doors remain open to everyone for a spot in the team

Singapore coach Bernd Stange has called for a five-day centralised training that began on Monday, and it will culminate with a meeting with the various stakeholders from the country’s professional league.

“This Saturday [July 20], we will have a meeting with the S.League chairmen, coaches and they gave me a chance for a one-hour presentation but all of it is completely confidential," he said on Monday.

While there was no official confirmation of the latest squad, Stange revealed that it was done intentionally as he has not firmed up his final list for their upcoming match against Oman in the Asian Cup qualifiers in August at the Jalan Besar Stadium. 

“I have never ever said that this player or that player is out," the German stated.

“Whether it is Daniel Bennett or Mustafic Fahrudin, no one said it’s finished or over for them.

“There are players for instance, Shahdan [Sulaiman] who had a good match [against Home United] and he is not involved now.

“I spoke to all these players and the doors are always open to everybody.” 

Stange then turned the spotlight back to all those who have been questioning his selection process.

“I have a question to all journalists who asked me these stupid questions," he fired.

“These players are 34 and 35 years old and they had their chance to make the World Cup qualification, but did they do it? No, they lost all [the] matches.

“Did they qualify for the Asian Cup? No, they did not. Do you give me the guarantee that a 35-year-old player will now make a big jump [in performance]? No, it [they] is not our future.

"The youngsters [however], they will improve and they have the chance and I am so happy that even players like Fahrudin, Indra [Sahdan], Noh Rahman or Qiu Li can help at this stage.”

When asked about the title-winning Malaysian Super League team, LionsXII, Stange asserted that the same rules apply.

"All the players from LionsXII and Courts Young Lions are candidates for the national team and we will control and will take care of them and there is always a chance for them to play in the national team," he reiterated.

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