With three matches left to play before the close of the Garena Young Lions’ Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League 2017 campaign, the Young Lions will be looking to add to their tally of points to end the season strongly.
However, it will not be an easy task for the developmental squad who are set to face second-ranked Tampines Rovers FC at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday. The Stags will be coming into the match on a high after beating Home United FC on Monday and will be eager to seal their spot in the table with a win.
Young Lions are meanwhile reeling from a narrow 1-0 home loss to Hougang United FC earlier this week.
Midfielder Ryan Syaffiq said: “To be honest, it has been a disappointing season for us as a team. Nevertheless, I am sure most of the boys have taken things positively and have improved individually.
“Putting up a brave, fighting performance would be the main focus (for our remaining games) and would mean so much, especially to our supporters and loved ones.”
Defender Faizal Roslan is also aiming to impress. With his National Service coming to an end next week, he will be putting all his energies into these last few games, hoping to catch the eye of the S.League clubs. Having had to juggle National Service and football for the past year, he has had to be more disciplined than usual to lay the foundation of the future in football that he desires.
Listing his challenges from juggling his commitments – “the soreness after a hard training session and matches, and getting up for work the very next morning; rushing for a match after a long day in camp; having to miss training due to duty” – Faizal is now ready to work even harder for the remaining matches.
“We have been giving our best during training, week in and week out throughout the season. With these last three matches, I think it’s all for our pride and future,” he asserted.
Ryan too has been “looking to improve [his] game in each training session”. The industrious 20-year-old takes nothing for granted and works hard to prove himself worthy of a spot in the first XI – an experience he describes as a boon as it helps him in his road to become a better player.
On the clash with the Eastern giants, head coach Vincent Subramaniam said: “The game against Tampines will be interesting because we would like to see another way of playing against them.
“We also have got an extra day of rest, but we have to keep working on the boys. That’s the only way to move forward.
“When you are in charge of a developmental squad, you don’t talk about defending deep – you need to have a fair share of attack and defence. You might expose your defence and lose games but that’s how these boys learn.”
The match between the Garena Young Lions and Tampines Rovers FC will kick off at 7.30pm at Our Tampines Hub.