At the start of the 2013 S.League campaign, Hougang United goalkeeper Fadhil Salim had expressed his desire to be part of the Singapore national team once again in an exclusive interview with Goal Singapore.
He fulfilled his wish on Tuesday when Lions coach Bernd Stange recognised his sterling performances for the Cheetahs this year by including the shot-stopper in the latest squad to face Oman in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
“It is good to be back!” a delighted Fadhil told Goal Singapore.
“It is an honour to be called up to the national team once again. My previous call-up was in 2007 (under ex-coach Radojko Avramovic) and now after so many years, I get the chance again.
“But at my age of 30 years and with the other good young goalkeepers around in Singapore, I never really thought it would happen.
“My coach Johana Johari and the players congratulated me as soon as they found out [about] the news.
“It certainly feels great for [all of] us in the club as a player from Hougang finally gets the chance to be in the national team after so long.”
Fadhil is looking forward to training under ex-Singapore international and current Lions goalkeeper coach Lee Bee Seng, who had been his mentor while he was at the Courts Young Lions.
“I trained under him a few years ago and definitely the training will be high in intensity," he added.
"In modern football, you need goalkeepers that can use their ‘head and brain’ and not just their hands and feet during a match.”
The Lions will begin preparatory training on August 3 and centralised training will be held on August 10, four days before their crucial clash against Oman at the Jalan Besar Stadium.