Raihan (centre) leading out the Singapore Youth Selection against Manchester United U19s in the NexLions Cup. (Photo by John Yeong/SSC)
Having earned a recent call up to the Lions XII squad, 21-year-old defender Raihan Rahman is looking forward to playing in this season’s Malaysian Super League. Being one of the younger members of Sundram’s charges, Raihan hopes to receive more exposure at this level of competition in preparation for the SEA Games.
The previous Courts Young Lions player stood out last year when he was appointed the captain for the Singapore Youth Selection Squad during the inaugural NexLions Cup in December. That too was a taste of international competition, playing against the likes of global names such as Manchester United, Liverpool and Sporting Lisbon.
“I am very excited to play this season because I didn’t get a chance previously due to my other commitments. But hopefully this year, I would get to play, and become better,” said an enthusiastic Raihan.
For most of the younger additions to Lions XII, the Malaysian Super League 2013 season would be the perfect chance to pit their skill against opponents of a decent level and to gauge their own performances at a higher-level of football.
Adapting to the atmosphere alone would be a challenge, with hostile away fans a thing they will need to get accustomed to. Facing off against stronger and more experienced opponents that have been playing the M-league for years now, would be one of the ultimate challenges faced as well.
SEA Games ambitions
“Obviously every player in this age group is aiming to be selected for the SEA Games squad,” said Raihan in reference to the Myanmar Games that will take place in December this year.
Besides the preparation for the upcoming Games the objective is always to win silverware. “My goal is to at least win a trophy this year,” Raihan said confidently. “Although we have been set a goal of finishing in the top five, we always strive for even better.”
No doubt, the boys are making it a point to win something despite the goal Football Association Singapore (FAS) has set for them.