News • January 26, 2016

Amri Takes On Big Brother Role At Young Lions

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Written by: Shawn Lim

As a former recipient of the S.League Young Player of the Year award, Khairul Amri is fully aware of what is required to succeed as a youth prospect.

So more than a decade after he started his professional footballing career with the Young Lions, where he scored 54 goals in 114 appearances, the 30-year-old is now back at the club to help the next generation of footballers embark on the same journey.

Notching up an impressive resume after leaving Young Lions that includes two spells with Tampines Rovers and LionsXII, with whom he won the 2015 Malaysia FA Cup, Amri had no shortage of suitors for his services after the LionsXII disbanded.

However, he chose to rejoin the Young Lions for the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League 2016 season because he was keen to impart the wealth of knowledge he has accumulated to his new teammates.

The striker, who became a centurion for Singapore last year against Qatar in a friendly, also revealed that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) played a big part in his decision to return to his first club.

“It was a straightforward decision on my part, because FAS has kept their promise to me and I’m grateful to them for doing so,” explained Amri, who declined to elaborate on the agreement.

“I was assured that I’m part of their plan for the future, which is why I decided to sign for the Young Lions.

“I will try to lead by example by training and playing well, so hopefully they will follow my professionalism.”

But even before a ball has been kicked, the Young Lions – which were formerly a Singapore Under-23 developmental side and will now comprise of mostly Under-21 players with a few overaged players like Amri – have been written off because of their inexperience and lack of star players.

Amri however, is unfazed by the harsh criticism and feels that the Young Lions can use their underdog status to their advantage.

“We have nothing to lose even though the boys have to prove themselves. The best part about being underdogs is that we can enjoy our football and have no fear,” said the 1.72m tall player.

“The results are not important because they need to focus on improving themselves for the future and learning how to work together as a team.”

With the AFF Suzuki Cup scheduled to be held at the end of the year, Amri is also keen to use the upcoming season to prove that he still has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

“Personally, my goals have always been the same every year – to stay injury free and score goals to help the team win,” explained Amri.

“I believe that Singapore can progress to the next stage and I am keen to help them do that.”