National Football: Baihakki salutes Kadir, Raddy

The two coaches rekindled and nurtured his football dream, says retired Lions defender

Baihakki Khaizan (centre) with (from left) Izwan Mahbud, Aleksandar Duric, Daniel Bennett and other players taking the lap of honour after beating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate in the final to win the 2012 Suzuki Cup. It was the fourth Asean Football Fed
Baihakki Khaizan (centre) with (from left) Izwan Mahbud, Aleksandar Duric, Daniel Bennett and other players taking the lap of honour after beating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate in the final to win the 2012 Suzuki Cup. It was the fourth Asean Football Federation title for Singapore.THE NEW PAPER FILE PHOTO

Most of his National Football Academy Under-17 teammates were promoted to form the first batch of Young Lions in 2003, but Baihakki Khaizan was left out because he had not played much the previous year due to a fractured metatarsal.

Disappointed, the lanky teenager thought about giving up his football dreams then.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2019, with the headline 'Baihakki salutes Kadir, Raddy'. Subscribe