Football: Lions prowl the National Stadium pitch for the first time

The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game
The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game against Thailand. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game
The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game against Thailand. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Players from the national team check the condition of the pitch at the Sports Hub. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Players from the national team check the condition of the pitch at the Sports Hub. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Shahril Ishak takes a selfie with his teammates in the VIP stands as they tour the Sports Hub. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Shahril Ishak takes a selfie with his teammates in the VIP stands as they tour the Sports Hub. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game
The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game against Thailand. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Players and officials from the national team pose for a picture on the the pitch as they tour the Sports Hub on Nov 21, 2014, ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Players and officials from the national team pose for a picture on the the pitch as they tour the Sports Hub on Nov 21, 2014, ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Singapore national football team roamed around the National Stadium field for the first time on Friday morning, as part of a familiarisation tour ahead of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which begins on Sunday with a Group B game against Thailand.

Led by captain Shahril Ishak, the squad cut chirpy and animated figures as they inspected the much-maligned hybrid surface, which has improved vastly in recent weeks after the calendar was cleared to allow the grass to grow.

"It's more stable and less sandy than for the Juventus match," said goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, referring to the Italian champions' friendly against a Singapore selection in August.

Striker Fazrul Nawaz added: "It looks quite ready for international football. Now, it's up to us to deliver."

The Singapore squad, who also toured the suites and dressing rooms at the 55,000-seater facility, are gearing up for Sunday's Cup opener against tournament favourites Thailand.

More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the match, which will see the Lions' German coach Bernd Stange pit his wits against Kiatisuk Senamuang, the one-time golden boy of Thai football.