Pavkovic to lead Singapore U21s at Thanh Nien Newspaper Cup

The Serbian will be head coach as the team prepare to face Sydney FC, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam in the annual U21 tournament in Vietnam
The Singapore Under-21s, led by head coach Slobodan Pavkovic, departed yesterday for Vietnam to take part in the Thanh Nien Newspaper Cup.

The annual competition, which was launched in 2007, is an international U21 tournament held by the Vietnamese newspaper of the same name.

Singapore have sent a 20-man squad for this year's edition, which will run from October 10 to 23 in Ninh Thuan. They will play Sydney FC in their first game on Sunday, October 13, before taking on Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia. Malaysia are the defending champions, having beaten Vietnam 2-1 in the final last year.

Deputy director of Development and Planning, Ridzal Saat, is confident that the team’s participation will add to their international experience and aid development.

“Many of these players will potentially represent Singapore in the 2015 SEA Games, and this experience will prove to be a fruitful one for them," he said in a statement from the Football Association of Singapore.

"Most of these players also play for the S.League and I hope that the exposure received from this tournament will be able to further enhance the standard of play amongst them. The team will certainly put in their best efforts for the tournament as they strive to put up a good showing.”

The Singapore U21s will take on Sydney FC at 3.30p.m at the Phan Rang Stadium, Thap Cham on Sunday.

Singapore U21 team list
Goalkeepers: Rudy Khairullah (Courts Young Lions), Syed Mifdhal (Tanjong Pagar).
Defenders: Fadli Kamis, Sufianto Salleh, Firman Hanif, Farhan Rahmat, Syafiq Iderus, Nurullah Hussein (all Young Lions), Delwinder Singh (Geylang International).
Midfielders: Faiz Salleh, Shamil Sharif, Ignatius Ang, Iqbal Hussain, Samuel Benjamin, M. Anumanthan, Nur Ridho (all Young Lions), Fuad Ramli (Geylang Prime League), Zakir Samsudin (Warriors FC).
Forwards: Ahmad Khidir (Geylang Prime League), Shameer Aziq (Hougang United).

Team officials
Team Manager: Abdul Alim bin Mohamed Omar
Head Coach: Slobodan Pavkovic
Assistant Coach: Mohammad Herman bin Zailani
Goalkeeping Coach: Lim Queen Cher
Sports Trainer: Narishman Sathivelu

Tuesday, October 15: Singapore vs Vietnam, 6p.m.
Thursday, October 17: Singapore vs Myanmar, 3.30p.m.
Saturday, October 19: Singapore vs Malaysia, 3.30p.m.