A symbolic moment as former national captain Razali Saad (left) hands over the baton to current star Khairul Amri (far right) (image credit: FAS).
Singapore, 18 June 2014 – Singapore football stars of the past, present and future gathered on the turf of the Singapore Sports Hub yesterday evening for a training session, the first football event to be held at the new National Stadium.
Former Singapore Lions including Razali Saad, Lim Tong Hai and Malek Awab enjoyed a brief kickabout with their successors from the Young Lions and Lions XII sides on the state-of-the-art Desso GrassMaster turf, before capping off the event with a symbolic handing over of the old guard to the new, represented by Khairul Amri.
LionsXII midfielder Hafiz Abu Sujad could not contain his excitement at donning the team kit and playing on the hallowed turf of the National Stadium, a sentiment that was echoed by fellow members of the Singapore Lions both new and old.
“I cannot wait to play here for the first time. The fans have been great at Jalan Besar, but it will be another level completely with 55,000 cheering you on here,” said Hafiz.
Former Team Singapore defender Lim Tong Hai, who won the Malaysian League and Cup double in 1994 with a team that was widely viewed as the golden generation of Singapore football, recalled the best moments of his playing career that happened at the National Stadium.
He said, “It is very exciting to be here. Some of my best memories are of playing on the pitch at the old National Stadium, and I’m sure many more dreams will come true here at this new one.”
The new National Stadium will host its first football match on Saturday 16 August 2014 when a Singapore Selection takes on Italian Serie A champions Juventus in a friendly exhibition match. Tickets can be purchased from Sports Hub Tix.
Past, present, and future generations of the Singapore Lions pose for the cameras at the first football event at the Sports Hub (image credit: FAS)