It was a glorious moment for Singapore’s national team captain Shahril Ishak and his LionsXII teammates when they took to the stage on Friday evening during the National Day Parade (NDP).
Invited to be part of the NDP to celebrate the triumphs and sporting successes by the nation’s athletes, the Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions joined in as Singapore celebrated her 48th birthday.
The LionsXII made their appearance alongside SEA Games and Commonwealth Games table-tennis gold medalist Feng Tianwei, wheelchair basketballers and athletes from six other sports at the Marina Bay floating platform.
“It is a great invitation and I felt excited about it when they (the organisers) informed us that the LionsXII would be part of the National Day Parade,” Shahril told Goal Singapore during the national team's centralised training on Saturday at Jalan Besar Stadium.
“It’s a wonderful experience for me and the rest as it’s the first time that we are part of this and we are definitely very proud of it.”
“We went through several rehearsals and finally we were up on the stage with all the other athletes from Team Singapore.
“To be a Singaporean and be part of NDP’s limelight is the best moment of our lives.”
The team were also given a special mention by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day Speech, delivered a day before the NDP.
In recognition for their success in clinching the MSL title, the first Singapore-based club to do so since 1994, they were invited by the Republic’s president Tony Tan for the traditional reception at the Istana a day after the National Day celebrations as well.