Singapore's U18 team needs to abandon 'exposure mindset', in order to flourish at AFF U18 Championships

Cubs must ingrain in themselves a winning mentality in order to fully grow as footballers

Singapore's U18 team have made a solid start to the AFF U18 Championships, by drawing 1-1 against regional heavyweights Thailand.

With that result, head coach Fadzuhasny Juraimi knows that his Cubs will have a perfect opportunity - to reverse the trend of Singapore's national age groups failing at regional tournaments.

It is not a secret that the Republic's national age groups have been picking up horrible results at regional tournaments. One only needs to look at the recent performance of the U15 team at the AFF Championship to understand the malaise when it comes to such tournaments.

And while many will argue that such tournaments for our national age groups are all about exposure, Goal Singapore begs to differ because, in a sport like a football, excellence starts young. Teams like Thailand and Indonesia demonstrate that sort of mindset which is why they have surpassed us.

Coach Fadzuhasny surprised many; including himself when the Cubs earned a valuable point against the Thais and such a performance will be needed again if they are to defeat Malaysia today. The Cubs should forget about the 'getting exposure' mentality and instil in themselves a winning mindset for that is the only way Singapore's youth groups can grow. And judging from the game against the Thais, Singapore does possess every quality capable of having a deep run in this tournament.