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Team Singapore feature: Up and Coming Football Stars

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Team Singapore feature: Up and Coming Football Stars

Singapore Football Starlets
File Photo Credit: Shau Chiet/SportSG

INSIDE SINGAPORE FOOTBALL (3): SINGAPORE'S NEXT GENERATION OF GOLDEN FOOTBALLERS

By Alan Yuen

Football in Singapore has long passed the days of Fandi Ahmad, our most famous player who donned the national strip and put Singapore football on the world map. He dribbled his way into our hearts and was the reason we turned out in droves at the National Stadium. By leading the Lions to the Malaysia Cup double in 1994, he has forever cemented his status as a legend in our football folklore and national history. 

Yet despite not producing a football star of the same magnitude since then, Singapore football has slowly but surely improved over recent years, with more and more of our youngsters making the step up with several even plying their trades in Europe or South America at present. Here we take a look at some of the newest up-and-coming players who could carry the torch for Singapore like Fandi once did.

1. ADAM SWANDI

Adam Swandi
File Photo Credit: Goal.com

Age: 17
Position: Attacking Midfielder

Goal.com heralded Singapore’s newest starlet Adam Swandi as one of the Top 20 Southeast Asian Rising Stars. Swandi made his breakthrough when he captained the Singapore Under-15 at the 2011 Canon Lion City Cup. His performance eventually earned him a two-year contract with FC Metz in France’s Ligue 2. The club has produced talents of the likes of former Barclays Premier League stars Louis Saha and Robert Pires. Not surprisingly, he already has 4 caps playing for the senior national team, and started international games against Laos and Syria recently. 

Watch Adam Swandi in action in this video.



2. IRFAN FANDI AHMAD

Irfan Fandi
File Photo Credit: Shau Chiet/SportSG

Age: 16
Position: Striker

Irfan Fandi Ahmad has certainly followed in his famous father’s footsteps. At 16, he’s already in Chile getting a shot at a professional contract. Many see a tremendous amount of potential in this kid. The eldest son of the family had his first big come out party during the 2013 Lion City Cup where he produced several starring performances against the likes of Arsenal FC. Irfan found the back of the net twice despite an overall poor performance by the Lions.

3. IKHSAN FANDI AHMAD

Ikhsan Fandi
File Photo Credit: Footballopod

Age: 14
Position: Striker 

Second eldest in the Fandi Ahmad family, Ikhsan is no slouch either, joining his brother in Chile to train in the youth academy of AC Banerchea, a club in the national second division league. Unfortunately for Ikhsan, he wasn’t able to showcase his talent when he broke his wrist whilst playing for Singapore in the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China. The National Football Academy seems to believe strongly in Ikhsan, having selected him among a privileged few to be sent for overseas training and attachments. 

4. ADAM HAKEEM

Adam Hakeem
File Photo Credit: Yahoo Singapore

Age: 16
Position: Defender

Standing at 1.92m, Adam Hakeem, son of Singapore football legend Nazri Nasir, is a looming presence that reinforces the backbone of the defence. His ability to get up in the air coupled with his towering height makes him a dominating player at both ends of the field. 

5. AMER HAKEEM

Amer Hakeem
File Photo Credit: Yahoo Singapore

Age: 14
Position: Defender

Although his father heads the National Football Academy’s U-15 side, Amer Hakeem has made it very clear that it won’t mean he will be slacking off.  Despite the U-15 Cubs being knocked out of the group stage of the Canon Lion City Cup, Amer impressed scouts and earned himself a training stint at the prestigious Ajax Academy in Holland, a privilege only one other player received. His humility, willingness to learn and effervescent leadership ability are certainly qualities of a star in the making.  



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