Hassan Sunny has been one of Singapore’s standout performers in the Lions’ AFF Suzuki Cup campaign so far, making eye-catching saves and impressing fans with his cat-like reflexes.
However for Singapore’s football fans, they have grown accustomed to such displays from Singapore’s custodian. In an interview with Goal Singapore, the 34-year-old reveals his journey to becoming Singapore’s number one and more.
Before the game against Indonesia, many had written Fandi Ahmad’s men off but in the end the Lions proved their critics wrong. It was a confident performance from the Lions epitomised by the dominant Hassan who did not put a foot wrong.
“When the national team got together last September, we told ourselves that we need to change Singapore football,” mentioned Hassan.
“We needed to get the fire in our belly back and I thought the approach to the Indonesia game was good.”
“Prior to the game we had a talk amongst ourselves; players only. Thankfully everyone was on the same boat and same page. That game against Indonesia was do or die for us and in the end we managed to win.”
Conversely for the Thailand-based player his journey to being Singapore’s first-choice goalkeeper is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. From having to compete with the likes of Lionel Lewis and now Izwan Mahbud, to overcoming serious injuries that kept him out of the game for close to two years.
“I grew up in a very tough environment. I was once the sixth choice for the national team behind the likes of Rezal (Hassan), Lionel Lewis and Shahril (Jantan),” revealed Hassan.
“The key for me has been patience and I learnt the different ways of how to be a professional. Waiting for an opportunity and taking it.”
“I also played against tough teams and conceded a lot of goals and it has been a learning journey. Now I have Izwan (Mahbud) to battle against, but its healthy competition and our relationship off the pitch has been fantastic.”
Given his journey to being the main protagonist for Singapore, Goal Singapore questioned Hassan if Singapore emerges triumphant in the tournament, what it would mean for him personally.
“It’s not easy at the age I am especially when you are 34 and every footballer wants to retire on a high note. I am not looking to retire at the moment.”
“But I just want to add another medal to my tally and I hope to have positive tournament.”