23 players in final Lions squad for Group B campaign starting 24 December
SINGAPORE, 2022, DECEMBER 20 – Singapore Men’s National Team Head Coach Takayuki Nishigaya today named a final squad of 23 players for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric (ME) Cup 2022.
The Lions, captained by Hariss Harun, will begin their Group B campaign at home against Myanmar on 24 December 2022, before going on to face Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia over the subsequent 10 days.
Five players will be part of a Singapore squad at Southeast Asia’s flagship international tournament for the first time – defenders Christopher van Huizen, Joshua Pereira and Ryhan Stewart, midfielders Shah Shahiran and Farhan Zulkifli. Ikhsan Fandi and Adam Swandi are ruled out through injury, while Taufik Suparno has withdrawn due to family reasons. Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny is set to be involved for a record ninth time at an AFF Championship with the Lions, surpassing Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan (both eight).
The squad had commenced a final phase of preparations from 1 December with a 12-day training camp in Chiba, Japan. There, the Lions played three training matches – one against J3 League side YSCC Yokohama and two against Ryutsu Keizai University. The final warm-up match was an international friendly against the Maldives last Saturday (17 December), which was won 3-1.
Nishigaya said: “It is important that all the players have tremendous commitment and desire to play for the Lions and having observed the players since selecting the provisional squad, I have full confidence in this final squad to overcome any challenges as one. It was not easy to make the selection choices but I believe that we have improved over the past few months and will continue to do so in the tournament.
“We want to go as far as possible, but it is key that we first concentrate on taking things game by game. Of course, it is disappointing that Ikhsan, Adam and Taufik are not available and I want to demand that the team continues to stick together, and play for them as well.
“Everyone understands that the first game against Myanmar is important for us to set the tone and especially at home, we want to show what we can do in front of the fans – I want us to play together with the fans, and win together.”
Hariss added: “The final preparations over the past few weeks have gone well and we are looking forward to applying everything we have learned from the training camp and Maldives friendly to the tournament.
“Our team spirit has always been our strongest asset and to go far in the tournament, we have to be very focused and believe in ourselves, as well as each other. There are some young but talented players in this team and while the seniors will guide them, at the end of the day everyone has to do their part because we are playing for Singapore – we have a duty to give our all for the country.
“It is great to start our campaign at home. At Jalan Besar, the fans are close to the pitch and the atmosphere is terrific, which we have to utilise to our full advantage. As four-time champions, we have a history in the tournament and winning is a challenge we have to take up.”
Singapore are gunning for a fifth regional crown and will kick off their quest at 6pm against Myanmar this Saturday at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Nishigaya’s charges then travel to Vientiane to face Laos on 27 December, before returning home to take on Vietnam on 30 December. The group stage will conclude with an away derby clash against Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 3 January.
Tickets for the Myanmar encounter at Jalan Besar Stadium remain available for purchase at www.fas.org.sg/tickets; the home match against Vietnam has been sold out.
Singapore Men’s National Team Squad for AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022
Hassan Sunny (Lion City Sailors), Syazwan Buhari (Tampines Rovers), Zaiful Nizam (Geylang International)
Amirul Adli, Hariss Harun (both Lion City Sailors), Christopher Van Huizen (Tampines Rovers), Nazrul Nazari (Hougang United), Irfan Fandi (BG Pathum United), Joshua Pereira (Geylang International), Ryhan Stewart (Chiangmai FC), Shakir Hamzah (Tanjong Pagar United)
Farhan Zulkifli, Zulfahmi Arifin (both Hougang United), Hafiz Nor, Hami Syahin, M. Anumanthan, Shahdan Sulaiman, Song Uiyoung (all Lion City Sailors), Shah Shahiran (Young Lions)
Amy Recha, Shawal Anuar (both Hougang United), Faris Ramli (Lion City Sailors), Ilhan Fandi (Albirex Niigata (S))
Singapore’s AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 Group B fixtures
|Date and time||Match||Venue|
|24 December 2022, Saturday, 6pm||Singapore vs Myanmar||Jalan Besar Stadium|
|27 December 2022, Tuesday, 6pm||Laos vs Singapore||New Laos National Stadium,|
|30 December 2022, Friday, 8.30pm||Singapore vs Vietnam||Jalan Besar Stadium|
|3 January 2023, Tuesday, 8.30pm||Malaysia vs Singapore||Bukit Jalil National Stadium,|