By Gabriel Tan
The Young Tigers are currently in Slovakia preparing for the start of their 2014 AFC Under-22 Asian Cup qualifying campaign, which kicks off on June 23 in Myanmar. They also sit in fourth spot at the halfway point of the S.League season.
Considering the number of fixtures they have had to contend with, juggling their league commitments with Olympics qualifying matches, Harimau have done well to remain on track to achieving Ong's pre-season target of a top-five finish in Singapore's top flight.
Over the last four months, Harimau have not only impressed many with their performances as a team as a whole, but have also showcased several individuals who have displayed signs they could go on to become some of the region's finest.
One such player - Nazmi Faiz - has already earned a move to Portuguese Liga outfit Beira-Mar on a three-year deal, but rather than dwell on the fact that he is set to lose one of his most-talented youngsters, Ong is ready to unleash another prodigious talent when they restart their S.League campaign.
"I currently have one boy here with me in Slovakia - Arif Farhan," Ong told ESPNSTAR.com exclusively. "He is only 16-years-old.
"He has shown a great deal of potential and I'm optimistic he will follow in the footsteps of Nazmi."
And despite Arif's tender years, his coach reveals he has already shown sparks of brilliance against several European clubs, who are known for their physical nature.
"He did very well in a few matches that we played here in Slovakia," Ong added.
"We will register him for the second half of the S.League season and I hope he takes the opportunity to show what he is capable of."
Harimau finish their Under-22 Asian Cup qualification campaign on July 3 with a game against hosts Myanmar, and are back in S.League action ten days later when they meet Tanjong Pagar United at the Queenstown Stadium.