By ESPNSTAR.com staff
S.League fans are no strangers to Harimau Muda A, after the team impressed observers in their debut season and finished fourth in the competition. However, the squad will not be returning for next year's campaign, as Ong Kim Swee's men begin preparations to defend their SEA Games crown by going on training stints across Australia and Europe.
Instead, their place in Singapore's top flight will be taken by Harimau Muda B, comprising primarily of Malaysia's finest Under-21 players.
Harimau Muda B, coached by former Kuala Lumpur manager Razip Ismail, will be boosted with the addition of 10 new faces from various Malaysian state sides for their S.League adventure.
Razip revealed to the New Paper that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has requested they match the finish obtained by Harimau Muda A last season.
"The target set for the team by the FAM is to try and do better than Ong's team, or at least maintain the same position," he shared.
"It's a tough ask, because we know the S.League is not an easy competition to play, but we will definitely do our best."
Harimau Muda B previously finished eight in the second-tier Malaysian Premier League and the squad were also knocked out of the Singapore Cup Round of 16 after losing 3-0 to Gombak United. Nonetheless, Ong gave the squad a vote of confidence for their maiden foray into the S.League.
"I believe they will be much better prepared this time round," he said.
"It will be difficult for them, especially in the first few matches but, after some time, they'll get used to the tempo and level of competition. And, although they won't be challenging for the title, I think they can achieve a mid-table placing."