Irfan poised to win first Lions cap

Irfan Fandi is slated to make his senior team debut soon. The Lions face Malaysia and Hong Kong over the next two weeks.
Irfan Fandi is slated to make his senior team debut soon. The Lions face Malaysia and Hong Kong over the next two weeks.

Irfan Fandi's journey in the footsteps of his famous father entered a new chapter yesterday after the eldest son of Singapore football icon Fandi Ahmad received his first call-up to the national team.

The 19-year-old Home United player was named in national caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy's 25-man squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Malaysia and Hong Kong this month.

Powerfully built and standing at at 1.87m, Irfan can play either as a centre-back or a striker.

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

  • S'pore squad for Malaysia and Hong Kong

    GOALKEEPERS

    Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Syazwan Buhari.

    DEFENDERS

    Baihakki Khaizan, Daniel Bennett, Irfan Fandi, Juma'at Jantan, Madhu Mohana, Afiq Yunos, Faritz Hameed, Hafiz 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 Hussain, Khairul Amri.

The Lions host Malaysia in the Causeway Challenge next Friday, before facing Hong Kong at the Mong Kok Stadium four days later.

Geylang International's Shawal Anuar, 25, who scored a memorable long-range winner against Albirex Niigata in July, also earned his first senior call-up, with Sundram keen to see the winger up close.

Said Shawal: "This is a golden opportunity to prove myself. I will continue to work hard to show coach what I can do, and what I can bring to the team."

Since taking charge in March, Sundram has shown he is not averse to relying on the old guard. He recalled 38-year-old defender Daniel Bennett in July and has now included 35-year-old defensive midfielder Mustafic Fahrudin in this squad.

He 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."

After the friendlies, Sundram will turn his attention to next month's Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.

Singapore face Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in Group A. Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam and the winner of the qualification tournament will make up Group B.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2016, with the headline 'Irfan poised to win first Lions cap'. Print Edition | Subscribe