Bennett, 38, back in Lions side for tour

Three years after his last international appearance, veteran defender Daniel Bennett has earned a recall at the age of 38 when the 25-man Singapore football squad was announced yesterday.

Bennett, who has 124 caps, was dropped by former coach Bernd Stange in 2013 but caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy believes the veteran defender is still able to contribute.

On his recall, the Geylang International centre-back said: "I'm delighted to be back in the national team.

"It is always an honour to represent Singapore, and I want to thank coach (Sundram) for this opportunity. I think my inclusion shows the national team door is never closed on anyone, as long as they do well consistently for their clubs."

The Football Association of Singapore also announced yesterday that the Lions will play four matches in July as part of its preparations for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup later this year.

  • Singapore squad for Japan trip

    Goalkeepers: Izwan Mahbud (Tampines Rovers), Khairulhin Khalid (Hougang United), Syazwan Buhari (Geylang International), Zaiful Nizam (Balestier Khalsa).

    Defenders: Abdil Qaiyyim (Home United), Afiq Yunos, Hafiz Abu Sujad and Shakir Hamzah (Tampines), Daniel Bennett and Faritz Hameed (Geylang), Madhu Mohana (Warriors FC), Nazrul Nazari (Hougang).

    Midfielders: Anumanthan Mohan Kumar (Hougang), Gabriel Quak and Safirul Sulaiman (Geylang), Hafiz Nor (Warriors), Izzdin Shafiq and Yasir Hanapi (Tampines), Zulfahmi Arifin (Home).

    Forwards: Amy Recha Pristifana (Geylang), Azhar Sairudin and Khairul Nizam (Home), Fazrul Nawaz (Tampines), Khairul Amri (Garena Young Lions), Sahil Suhaimi (Geylang).

The team's quintet of foreign-based players - Hassan Sunny (Army United, Thailand), Safuwan Baharudin (PDRM, Malaysia), Hariss Harun (Johor Darul Takzim I), Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan (JDT II) - are not called up.

The national team will assemble for centralised training from July 11 to 17, before travelling to Niigata, Japan from July 18 to 26, and will face Albirex Niigata on July 24. Details of another two matches against Japanese clubs during the team's trip will be announced later.

Sundram's men will also play an away 'A' international friendly against Cambodia on July 28 in Phnom Penh.

The 50-year-old said: "At this stage of our preparations, it is essential for us to get together regularly and have high-quality matches against good opponents.

"Our time together in July will let me have a good look at players who have performed well in the S-League, and let all the selected players have a better understanding of my expectations."

Yogaraj Panditurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2016, with the headline 'Bennett, 38, back in Lions side for tour'. Print Edition | Subscribe