Kelvin Leong gives you the lowdown of Fandi Ahmad’s road map in preparation of the Singapore national team for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Since his appointment as the interim head coach of the Lions, Fandi Ahmad and his backroom staff have been working around the clock to map out the pathway to success as Singapore prepare for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
Singapore have been drawn in Group B for what will be the 12th edition of the showpiece event and will face Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and either Timor-Leste or Brunei in the group phase.
Group A consists of Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have backed Fandi with a backroom team selected by the man himself with Robin Chitrakar and S. Subramani coming in as his assistant coaches.
Eric Ong is the team manager while a new role has been created for former Singapore striker Noh Alam Shah to be a player mentor.
Alam Shah’s role is to be the link between coaches and players, and his task will be to rally the troops while Fandi takes on the tactical side of things.
With less than three months to go before their first Group B game at home to Indonesia, FOX Sports Asia outlines the Lions’ preparation schedule for the upcoming weeks.
Singapore national team preparation schedule
- Weekly Monday training gatherings
- All players who are on the shortlist will be invited for national team training every Monday
- Players who are involved in Singapore Premier League or Singapore Cup games on Tuesday and Wednesdays do not need to report
- Overseas-based players will not participate unless they are back in Singapore
- September international friendlies
- The Lions will play two international friendlies against Mauritius (Sep 7) and Fiji (Sep 11) on home soil
- Both matches to be played at the Bishan Stadium to prepare the team on a grass-pitch environment
- A 26-man squad will be announced on August 28 for the two matches
- All overseas-based players will be called up for this window
- October international friendlies
- Lions will continue their preparations with two international friendlies against Mongolia (Oct 12) and an away fixture against Cambodia (Oct 16) in Phnom Penh
- The home game will be played at the Bishan Stadium while the Cambodia match is scheduled to be played at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium
- A 26-man squad will be announced in the third or fourth week of September for the two matches
- Japan training tour (Osaka)
- Fandi will take a 26-man squad to Osaka, Japan for a two-week training camp in preparation for the Suzuki Cup
- This will be the final squad for the tournament but Fandi and his coaching team will have to drop three players to cut it down to a 23-man squad
Once the 23-man squad is announced, Singapore will go into their final phase of preparations to navigate the ‘Group of Death’.
Singapore’s AFF Suzuki Cup fixtures
9 November (Friday) – Singapore vs Indonesia
13 November (Tuesday) – Philippines vs Singapore
21 November (Wednesday) – Singapore vs Timor-Leste/Brunei
25 November (Sunday) – Thailand vs Singapore