FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Shahdan Sulaiman, Faris Ramli, Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun are up to both on and off the pitch in Malaysia.
Shahdan Sulaiman – Melaka United
Looks like Shahdan Sulaiman is keeping on the down-low this week.
The Singapore international midfielder misses out on his national side’s training camp in Osaka, Japan as coach Fandi Ahmad readies his charges for their upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup.
The Lions are preparing for their cup opener against Indonesia on Friday, November 9. Singapore has been drawn into Group B along with Thailand, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
The Singapore team will only return home after two weeks on Friday, November 2 and while he missed out on a plane ticket to the Land of the Rising Sun, Lion tamer Fandi Ahmad has not ruled 30-year-old Shahdan out of his final Suzuki Cup squad just yet.
Faris Ramli – PKNS FC
Hence, PKNS no. 30 has been included in the Lions probational squad and has traveled with the rest of his international colleagues up to J-GREEN Sakai. Faris enjoyed last Saturday off before catching the red-eye flight to Osaka, Japan on Sunday.
The 26-year-old, along with his fellow Lions, will be taking part in three training matches against Japanese teams with this being his last chance to impress Fandi Ahmad before the Singapore boss finalises his Suzuki Cup squad.
But all seriousness aside, the two-week overseas training camp is also a great opportunity for the players to bond and build up their team camaraderie.
And 2013 Malaysia Super League title winner Faris was on hand to capture all the fun moments as the Singapore players and staff decided to kick back after hours in an impromptu game of indoor tennis. Guess that makes up for missing the WTA finals action back home…
Safuwan Baharudin – Pahang FA
Having been handed the Lions’ captaincy for the first time in their 2-1 win in Phnom Penh, Safuwan Baharudin has been retained his spot in the national squad.
The versatile centre-back, who can also play in midfield and upfront, traveled with the rest of Singaporean colleagues for a two-week training camp at J-GREEN Sakai in Osaka, Japan.
27-year-old Safuwan was all smiles in training together with his 2012 Suzuki Cup-winning defensive partner Baihakki Khaizan as they prepare to undertake three training matches against Japanese teams before returning back home on Friday, November 2. Lions tamer Fandi Ahmad is expected to trim and submit his 2018 Suzuki Cup squad list upon their return.
Pahang FA no. 21 Safuwan, who has already tasted Suzuki Cup glory once before, will be all fired up and motivating his fellow Lions in the buildup to their opening match against Indonesia on Friday, November 9.
Hariss Harun – Johor Darul Ta’zim FC
Midfielder Hariss Harun misses out on the Singapore national team training camp in Osaka and a spot in the Malaysia Cup grand finals.
The Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) FC no. 14 also skipped out on the Lions’ friendly win over Cambodia as he tried to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Terengganu FC last Saturday in the cup semi-finals’ second leg.
At the Larkin Stadium, things seem to be going in the Southern Tigers’ favour with Hariss captaining his side as they raced into the break 1-nil up courtesy of Argentine marksman Fernando Marquez.
JDT added a second in the second half through another Argentine; this time it was midfielder Gonzalo Cabrera finding the back of the net in the 62nd minute. But Turtles’ captain Kipre Tchetche halved JDT’s advantage six minutes later, and broke Johor’s heart deep in injury-time with his second as the game finished 2-2.
Terengganu move on to face Perak TBG in the cup grand finals after notching a 3-2 aggregate win over two legs.
And with that, Hariss’ season with JDT is officially over. The players and staff said their farewells as news of the Southern Tigers’ first signing came through.
Playing in the AFC Champions League next season, JDT opted to bring in former SS Lazio and Sporting Lisbon defender Mauricio dos Santos Nascimento. The Brazilian defender will bolster their defensive ranks with Marcos Antonio’s departure.
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