The Football Association of Singapore president hopes that the Under-23 side can finally achieve its first-ever winners' medal in the tournament come next year at the Sports HubWhen the new Sports Hub opens later this year, Singapore will finally have a world-class sporting arena to call its own.
For Singapore football, it means the national teams will be able to showcase their abilities on the grandest stage once again, since the days of the old Kallang Stadium. Indeed, with the 2015 SEA Games set to be held at the spanking new facility, there will be no better time for Singapore to win the gold medal for the first time.
That was the rallying cry issued by Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Zainudin Nordin on Thursday afternoon at a special media preview event, where he called for a return of the "Singapore spirit" when the biennial sporting event comes to our shores.
"Looking forward, the next edition of the SEA Games will held at the Sports Hub and all of us know that football will be one of the events and when we look at creating this atmosphere," he said. "I hope we bring back this atmosphere, [which is] not only about the sports, but it is [also] about the Singapore spirit."
Zainudin further added not only would the Under-23 team winning gold on home soil be "special" because Singapore have never done it before, it would also help spur other young local athletes in their pursuit of sporting success.
"The highest [achievement] we’ve got is silver, so in football we are aiming for gold next year," he declared.
"So this is something that will be able to inspire youth generations to come, because it’s a Under-23 tournament, for young people to be able to feel that excitement and also to celebrate our 50th birthday as a young nation."
It was also announced by Zainudin that Singapore will host Malaysia in the first football match to be played at the Sports Hub on August 8, while negotiations are also underway to bring a top European club, European nation and Asian nation each for friendlies.