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LionsXII ready to roar in Malaysia in 2012


LionsXII's vice-captain, Harris Harrun, is determined and confident to perform in the Malaysia League after Singapore's 17-year absence. (Photo:SSC)
 
A Singapore team will take part in the Malaysian Super League, Malaysia and FA Cups from 2012 to 2015. This is the first time in 18 years the FAS are fielding a team in competitions across the Causeway, since Singapore won the M-League and Malaysia Cup double in 1994.

Earlier this July, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) at Selangor, to agree on both associations sending a team each to compete in the neighbouring country’s domestic league across the Causeway.

A New Beginning

The team will be called LionsXII, where the number 12 signifies the fans acting as the 12th player motivating and supporting the Singaporean footballers. They also have a specially designed logo by acclaimed advertising agency, DDB. A Lion is pictured within a paw print and has four claw slashes to signify the four main components of - for country, for fans, for passion and for trust.

Dazzling Striker to Knowledgeable Coach

During the press media announcement, FAS president Zainudin Nordin unveiled former nation striker, V.Sundramoorthy as the head coach of the newly formed Singapore team.

Sundramoorthy, the former prolific national striker was chosen for his experience as a player in the Malaysian competitions coupled with his ability to coach. He was thehead coach of Jurong FC and the Young Lions.

Sundramoorthy had chosen Kadir Yahya, his room-mate during Malaysian Cup days, as the assistant coach. The two former team-mates on the pitch will now seek to work their magic from the sidelines.

Sundramoorthy told media, “It is a great honour to be given this huge task of leading LionsXII in the Malaysian domestic tournaments and having experienced the excitement and euphoria of the Malaysia Cup as a player, I will give it my all and pass down the wealth of knowledge I have to these 28 players whom I believe will be a competitive squad in the coming season." 

“They (LionsXII) need to gel together over the next month and we have the good mix of talent to get at least a top five finish, but it would not be easy against the teams in Malaysia. I believe that we need to win every home game, to possibly succeed in the campaign, Sundramoorthy added.

Good Mix of Talents

The 28-man LionsXII has a good blend of youth and experienced players, which include the former national players Agu Casmir, Khairul Amri, alongside with young blood such as Madhu Mohana and Yasir Hanapi.

Shahril Ishak was named the team captain while midfield dynamo, Hariss Harun will be his deputy.

Vice-Captain Harris Harun shared his feelings about his upcoming experience, “Firstly, it is an honour to be in this team and I believe that we are in very good hands of the coaches. I am looking forward to win with my new teammates, but we have to play together as a unit first.”

Fans are the 12th Player

FAS President, Zainudin Nordin was pleased with the appointment "This is a historical day in Singapore football and I am confident that coach V.Sundramoorthy and the players will be able to rise up to the challenge. It is important to stress that this team is a team for all Singaporeans, as shown in our choice of team name and logo. We want Singaporeans to come down and stand by the Lions as they strive for glory on the pitch." 


LionsXII squad:

Goalkeepers:
Izwan Mahbud, Hyrulnizam Jumaat, Al-Faiz Ishak

Defenders:
Safuwan Baharudin, Juma'at Jantan, Shaiful Esah, Irwan Shah, Shakir Hamzah, Sevki Sha'ban, Shahir Hamzah, Madhu Mohana

Midfielders:
Hariss Harun (Vice Captain), Safirul Sulaiman, Izzdin Shafiq, Isa Halim, Taufiq Rahmat, Raihan Rahman, Shahdan Sulaiman, Yasir Hanapi, Shahril Ishak (Captain), Firdaus Kasman, Pravin Guanasagaran,

Forwards:

Khairul Amri, Gabriel Quak, Fazli Ayob, Khairul Nizam, Agu Casmir, Sufian Anuar