Aide: Sahil is a special player

The Courts Young Lions coach believes his striker can be a future star for Singapore if he improves on his finishing, having caught the eye with impressive showings this season
Charging down the left flank as he led a Courts Young Lions counter-attack, Sahil Suhaimi moved into the penalty area with a sudden burst of acceleration. His subsequent sleight of feet proved too much for Brunei DPMM defender Subhi Abdilah, who brought the striker down as he skipped away.

Team-mate Sherif El-Masri stepped up to dispatch the spot-kick for their second goal of the night, although it was not enough as they succumbed to a 3-2 loss eventually last Friday.

While his team did not win, Sahil certainly caught the eye with his lively display throughout. The 21-year-old was never afraid to take a shot whenever he had the opportunity to do so, with his style bearing shades of resemblance to Tottenham Hotspur and England international striker Jermaine Defoe.

In fact, Sahil was named in the latest Singapore squad to face Laos and Syria and his coach, Aide Iskandar, certainly believes his young charge has what it takes to be a top player.

"Sahil, for me, is a very special player," he said after the game.

"Give him more games, more time and I think he will be a future bright star for us. He can be that player that we’ve been looking for."

That was high praise, coming from a former Singapore captain, although Aide was quick to point out that Sahil needed to improve on his goalscoring record.

"What he’s actually lacking is [turning] his finishing into goals; his creativity has been one of the best [in the team] but he needs to learn to be a little more composed in front of goal," he remarked.

"Putting the ball into the net, sometimes you don’t need power [for that]; you just need to place the ball, like how our legendary Fandi [Ahmad] does it.

"But again, he’s only 21 and I'm pretty excited and I am pretty sure he will be a big star in the 2015 SEA Games."

In fact, Aide thinks the nippy striker could play a big part at this year's edition in December if he gets more game time, having just completed his National Service earlier this month.

"I believe he can be a good partner to [LionsXII striker] Shahfiq Ghani, because they have played together during their youth days and if you put them together they have a very telepathic understanding," he said.

"He could be potentially [make the team] but whoever it is [that is chosen], the coach will have to decide."