Football: Irfan Fandi named in Lions squad for Malaysia and Hong Kong friendlies

Irfan Fandi has been named in the lineup for the Lions' two friendly matches against Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Irfan Fandi has been named in the lineup for the Lions' two friendly matches against Malaysia and Hong Kong. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore on Friday (Sept 30) announced a 25-strong squad for the Lions' two friendly matches against Malaysia and Hong Kong.

The squad, with an average age of 26.8 years, will face rivals Malaysia at the National Stadium on Oct 7 before taking on Hong Kong four days later.

National caretaker football coach V. Sundramoorthy said: "I have chosen a squad with a good mix of youth and experience. We have seasoned professionals like Daniel Bennett and Mustafic Fahrudin, who can guide the young players like Iqbal Hussain, M. Anumanthan and Irfan Fandi."

Home United's Irfan, 19, is in line to receive his first senior international cap.

"I'm very excited to have been called up to the National 'A' Team," he said. " I had played for the various age-group national youth teams over the past few years and it is always with pride and passion whenever I wear the national jersey.

"Having progressed through the youth development system, I am thankful to my coaches - both past and present - for their guidance and advice.

"I will continue to work hard and will strive to do my best if I'm selected for the upcoming matches. I hope fans will turn up in red and cheer us on at the National Stadium next Friday."

Another uncapped player in the squad is Geylang International midfielder Shawal Anuar, 25.

Sundram said: "Another player I am looking forward to seeing up close is Shawal Anuar. I have repeatedly said that the door to the national team is always open as long as you play well for your club.

"Shawal has been doing well in the S-League, so this call-up is a reward for his good performances."

Shawal said: "Being a part of Coach Sundram's squad for these two matches gives me a golden opportunity for me to prove myself. I will continue to work hard to show coach what I can do, and what I can bring to the team. I can't wait to train, and hopefully play, with players like Shahril Ishak and Khairul Amri."

The squad will begin centralised training tomorrow ahead of next Friday's Causeway Challenge, before departing for Hong Kong on Oct 8.

Tickets for the Causeway Challenge are available from www.sportshubtix.com.

Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Syazwan Buhari.

Defenders: Baihakki Khaizan, Daniel Bennett, Irfan Fandi, Juma'at Jantan, Madhu Mohana, Afiq Yunos, Faritz Abdul Hameed, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Shakir Hamzah, Mustafic Fahrudin.

Midfielders: Anumanthan Kumar, Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak, Faris Ramli, Izzdin Shafiq, Safuwan Baharudin, Shawal Anuar, Yasir Hanapi, Gabriel Quak.

Forwards: Sahil Suhaimi, Iqbal Hamid Hussain, Khairul Amri.