Lion City Cup player profile: Ezra Walian

The Dutch-Indonesian player was in the spotlight as the famed Ajax youth academy opened their Lion City Cup campaign against Singapore U16s.
Ajax Amsterdam lost the opening match of the 24th Lion City Cup to Singapore U16, and team captain Abdelhak Nouri won the Man of the Match award, but it was Ezra Walian who took centre-stage for the Dutch side on Saturday evening.

The Dutch-Indonesian had an eventful game, earning a penalty in the first-half, which he then stepped up to take and miss, before finally finding the net minutes into the second period of play.

But Walian's evening took another turn when his infringment in the penalty area gifted the Singapore side a penalty which allowed the hosts to claw themselves back into the game and eventually eke out a win. Singapore spoke exclusively to the promising Ajax youngster who has already caught the attention of the Indonesian footballing circles. on his Asian roots and future plans.

“I am very close to my grandparents who are Indonesian," said the 14-year-old.

"And because I have Indonesian blood in me, I [will] always have good feelings and attachment to the country.”

The young player, however, has a clear idea of where his international future career lies. 

“I dream of becoming a professional footballer in Netherlands and representing its national team one day,” said Walian.

When pressed on his reasons he replied: “Because of the higher level of football in Netherlands."

Ever the pragmatist. the young midfielder has left the option of playing for Indonesia open.

"I am very ambitious in trying to reach that high level in Holland," he added.

"But if along the way, this does not work out, I will be very proud and love to play for Indonesia.

“But at this point in time, I look forward to developing into a professional player in Holland.”