Singapore Under-18 National Team Head Coach Fadzuhasny Juraimi has finalised his 23-strong squad for the 2019 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-18 Championship that will take place from 6 August to 19 August in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Singapore have been drawn in Group B alongside defending champions Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and Cambodia. They open their campaign against the Thais on 7 August.
The majority of the squad has been drawn from across seven Singapore Premier League (SPL) clubs, with two players coming from the Singapore Sports School. Ten players have already tasted SPL action; most notably, Geylang International striker Zikos Chua has scored five goals in the league this season.
Former Singapore international Fadzuhasny, who took up his role in January, acknowledged the tough challenge that the team will face at the tournament but wants them to rise to the occasion.
“These players have done well with their respective clubs in the SPL and the Centre of Excellence U-18 league. They have earned their place in the final 23 having displayed good commitment, discipline and hard work,” the 39-year-old said.
“While we have been drawn in the same group as some of the strongest teams in Southeast Asia, we have to believe in ourselves and I want to see the boys show confidence, courage, teamwork and hunger when they step onto the pitch.
“I also expect them to be mentally strong and focused on giving their best, as this will be their opportunity to show if they have what it takes to be called up to the Under-22 or even the National Team.”
The top two teams in each group qualify for the semi-finals on 17 August, with the third/fourth-placing match and the final scheduled to be held on 19 August.
The Singapore U-18s will depart Singapore on Sunday, 4 August.