Team can still do well even if players are in different clubs

I am disappointed with the Republic's Under-22 team's coach Fandi Ahmad for not allowing Young Lions Saifullah Akbar and Joshua Pereira to move to Albirex Niigata in the Singapore Premier League (No move to Albirex for Young Lions duo; 19 Dec).

I find the reason he gave very inward looking. Does playing together as a team make them better players? The answer is no, from what I've seen in previous matches.

Going by Fandi's reasoning, he should not have allowed his son Irfan to go to a Thai team, since both his sons are expected to play key roles in the squad for upcoming international competitions.

Albirex players, or those from other teams, have improved to become better players.

One such example is Adam Swandi, who was named Young Player of the Year at this year's Football Association of Singapore's awards ceremony.

Players do not need to play in the same team to be able to understand one another better. In many countries, players are in different teams and gather only for a short training stint before a major competition. Yet, they still perform well.

We have witnessed the performance of many top players drop once their transfer request was denied.

I believe this could happen to the two young players, and I hope they will be allowed to join Albirex.

Leong Kok Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2018, with the headline 'Team can still do well even if players are in different clubs'. Print Edition | Subscribe