By Marcus Chhan
On Sunday morning around 100 amateur footballers - none older than 24 years of age - braved the heat at Dempsey Field for the final Boot Camp session, hoping to book their place in next month's Country Finals.
Sundramoorthy was there, wearing his other hat of head coach for 'The Chance' Singapore, flanked by a team of ex-internationals which included Aide Iskandar, Nazri Nasir, S. Subramani and Hasrin Jaliani. Their goal would not be easy. They somehow had to find a way to tell 80 young boys that their dream journey with Nike was over while simultaneously telling 20 other boys that they were one step closer to representing Singapore at the Global Finals of this Nike talent contest in Barcelona.
After undergoing Nike Elite Training Live (ETL) drills on Sunday morning, the group then played a round of 7-a-side before a selection of shortlisted players played an 11-a-side game in front of all the coaches.
In the end, Sundram et al were happy enough with the 20 boys they handpicked to compete in the Country Finals (June 2-3).
"Most importantly, Nike has given [football] players who are not in S.League or in a competitive league an opportunity to be spotted," he said.
"[In the end] if I can get one player [from 'The Chance'] for the Lions that would be great."
Sundramoorthy has reasons to be optimistic. According to a Nike representative we spoke to on Sunday, one of the five players selected for the Country Finals of the 'The Chance' Malaysia has since been called up to the national squad.
When asked by ESPNSTAR.com about the chances of something similar happening in Singapore, Sundramoorthy felt confident enough looking at the talent on show on Sunday.
"There's a possibility," he said.
"I saw a lot of talent but I have to look at them again. Some players have impressed me but we have to
see them again at Jalan Besar [in the Country Finals]."
Among the 20 players in consideration for the June final is 24-year-old midfielder Ibrahim bin Che Mat.
"I feel excited," he told ESPNSTAR.com.
"All 20 of us have a fair chance of getting through to the Regional Finals and I wont put my hopes to high but hopefully i will get through."
Only five players from the Country Finals in Singapore will move on to the Regional Finals which will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 10 to 13 June.
Here are the 20 boys from Singapore who have made it to the Country Finals:
Yong Zi Long, 24.
Mohd Nazirul Islam, 20.
Mohd Nurul Islam, 19.
Radin Abudllah Syaafii, 19.
Sheikh Abdurrahman, 18.
Mohd Muttaqin bin Mohtar, 21.
Nur Hidayat bin Khamarudin, 23.
Emmeric Ong Yu Min, 21.
Mohd Alif bin Badri, 23.
Ibrahim bin Che Mat, 24.
Aziz bin Zainudin, 21.
Masnashzreen bin Mascuri, 23.
Sim Li Ming, 23.
Nur Hazwan bin Norasikin, 23.
Mohd Khairul bin Kamal, 23.
Muhd Furqaan bin Abdul Rab, 19.
Randy Pay Zhen Hao, 21.
Mohd Fadil bin Hamis, 20.
Firdaus bin Zaine, 18.
Mohd Afiq bin Mat Noor, 18.