Singapore’s national team left for Japan on Monday afternoon to begin the final phase of their preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup with a week-long training camp in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Coach Raddy Avramovic has brought a squad of 24 players to Japan, which should give a good indication of the make-up of his final team for the upcoming regional tournament, which kicks off on November 24.
While the squad includes a number of familiar names including skipper Shahril Ishak, tough-tackling midfielder Hariss Harun, veteran defender Daniel Benett and evergreen striker Aleksandar Duric, there are also a few up-and-coming players including defender Raihan Rahman and midfielder Yasir Hanapi.
Raihan and Yasir are just two of the 15 players selected from Lions XII, Singapore’s representative side in the Malaysian Super League.
The squad will be in Shimizu in Shizuoka Prefecture for a week-long training camp which will include a friendly match against J.League side Shimizu S-Pulse on Saturday, November 10.
“To play against opponents of such quality is good for us as it will be a good learning experience,” said captain Shahril. “Although we will be playing against a club side, the level of intensity will be very high.”
After their Japanese training camp, the Lions will travel on to Cebu for an international friendly against the Philippines at the Cebu City Sports Complex on November 15 before they return to Singapore for their final warm-up match against Pakistan at Jurong West Stadium on November 19.
In addition to the 24 players named for the training camp in Japan, another 10 back-up players including goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, defender Ismail Yunos and forward Agu Casmir will continue to train in Singapore under assistant coach Aide Iskandar.
They could feature in the match against Pakistan, which will take place just six days before the Lions’ opening match at the AFF Suzuki Cup against defending champions Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on November 25.
Singapore are in Group B and will also meet Indonesia at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on November 28 and Laos at the Shah Alam Stadium on December 1.