Football: FAS announces 26-strong Singapore Selection team for The Sultan's Gold Cup

The Young Lions (blue) playing Balestier Khalsa in a friendly in January 2018. The national selection comprises 10 players from the Singapore Premier League club. PHOTO: ST FILE
The Young Lions (blue) playing Balestier Khalsa in a friendly in January 2018. The national selection comprises 10 players from the Singapore Premier League club. PHOTO: ST FILEST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Thursday (Sept 20) a 26-strong Singapore Selection team that will compete in The Sultan's Gold Cup in Malaysia from Sept 25 to Oct 20.

The team comprises mainly players from clubs in both divisions of the National Football League (NFL), with 10 hailing from Singapore Premier League side Young Lions.

NFL officials are also part of the backroom staff, as part of the FAS' drive to give the league's players and officials opportunities to develop their capabilities.

The team will be led by head coach and former Singapore international Nazri Nasir, with former Lion Noh Rahman as his assistant and fitness coach. NFL division two side GFA Victoria's Harman Ali will serve as team manager.

The Sultan's Gold Cup is an annual amateur tournament organised by the Persatuan Bolasepak Melayu Malaysia (Malays Football Association of Malaysia), with this year's edition being held in Lembah Klang in Kuala Lumpur.

Singapore have been drawn in Group D with Persatuan Bolasepak Melayu Selangor, Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM or Malaysian Armed Forces) and Penjara FC.

FAS president Lim Kia Tong said: "We would like to thank Persatuan Bolasepak Melayu Malaysia for the invitation to take part in this year's The Sultan's Gold Cup, a long-running tournament with much prestige and history.

"Fielding a team of mostly NFL players is also in line with FAS' initiatives to provide opportunities for our NFL players to compete at a higher level beyond the NFL in reputable competitions.

"I wish Nazri and his team all the best and I am sure they will do us proud."

Singapore Selection team chairman Zaki Ma'arof added: "The Sultan's Gold Cup is very keenly contested at a good level of football and provides a platform for the NFL players to shine.

"It also provides our amateur players the opportunity to be scouted, especially so with FAS coach Nazri leading the team for this edition."

Singapore have won the competition 12 times, with their last triumph coming in 1983, and last progressed from the group stage in 2013 when they reached the quarter-finals.