FOOTBALL took a backseat for the Young Lions yesterday when they had some fun under the sun at Universal Studios Singapore.
Ahead of the SEA Games, Singapore's Under-23 footballers were taken on a VIP tour of the popular attraction, courtesy of Resorts World Sentosa.
It proved to be just what the doctor ordered as players and staff rested tired legs and weary minds after a gruelling three-week training camp interspersed with friendly matches.
"We wanted the boys to let their hair down and bond not just with each other, but with the staff too," said coach Aide Iskandar, who enjoyed a laugh when his players were drenched during a water show.
Even national coach Bernd Stange, who will serve as an adviser to Aide in Myanmar, joined in the fun. After one particularly hair-raising ride, the 65-year-old German had the squad in stitches when he mimicked a vomiting motion and a prayer to the heavens.
"I can't remember us ever having an excursion like this before - it's great for dressing-room morale," said captain Hariss Harun, who gamely posed for pictures with several fans.
Equally upbeat was hamstring injury victim Gabriel Quak, who has been sidelined for the past week. The key winger said he feels his right leg has been improving and will visit a doctor later this week for the official verdict.
"Fingers crossed, I'll get the all-clear to begin light training," said the 22-year-old LionsXII player. "I can't wait to get back on the field."
Aide's troops resume training today. They will face their Philippine counterparts in a final tune-up at the Hougang Stadium on Sunday.
The 20-man squad will depart for Naypyitaw two days later, before their opening Group A match against Laos on Dec 8.