Football: Sahil Suhaimi to train with Burnley junior side for a month

Singapore striker Sahil Suhaimi (No. 11) shaping up to shoot after coming on as a substitute during the match between Singapore and Malaysia at the Causeway Challenge at National Stadium on Oct 7, 2016.
Singapore striker Sahil Suhaimi (No. 11) shaping up to shoot after coming on as a substitute during the match between Singapore and Malaysia at the Causeway Challenge at National Stadium on Oct 7, 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

Sahil Suhaimi will get a taste of life at an English Premier League (EPL) football club when he leaves for a training stint with Burnley tonight.

Last night, his club Tampines Rovers announced that the striker will be attached to the Clarets' development squad for one month.

Stags chairman Krishna Ramachandra said: "It is a fantastic, trail-blazing opportunity for Sahil. He has worked very hard to put himself in contention and to realise his potential, so we are happy for him.

"I have always taken the view that the S-League clubs are here to serve the Singapore football fraternity, so we will not be holding Sahil back."

Anthony Fairclough, Burnley's head of commercial affairs, added: "We welcome Sahil and hope his experience is productive... and that he can have a snapshot of the Premier League and see it from a very different perspective."

Sahil, 24, is registered only to Tampines' Asian Football Confederation Cup squad and not the S-League team. This is because he was in negotiations with overseas clubs when the Stags finalised their roster for the league campaign.

The Singapore international said: "This may only be a training experience but it reaffirms my self-belief. I hope this serves as a positive message for all those other footballers who have not yet got the break they are looking for, to persevere."

Sahil is not the first Singaporean to train with an EPL club. In 2007, former national goalkeeper Lionel Lewis trained with Manchester City for a week. Seven years before that, he and fellow shot-stopper Shahril Jantan also trained with Arsenal for two weeks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2017, with the headline 'Sahil to train with Burnley junior side for a month'. Print Edition | Subscribe