News • August 19, 2014
Shahdan Encouraged By Opening Match Turnout
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tampines Rovers midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman was recently called up to represent the Singapore Selection side against Italian giants Juventus FC at the new National Stadium in a game where they lost 5-0.
Shahdan who currently plies his trade in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, had a decent outing in the heart of midfield in that game and was eventually replaced by Zulfahmi Arifin just before the hour mark.
Despite the stadium being only half-filled, the 26-year-old playmaker said the atmosphere was unlike what he had seen before and believes it can only get better when more fans turn up in future.
“It feels good to have a good crowd behind us, it’s a different atmosphere. It’s pretty good,” he remarked.
“It’s good to have our own national stadium. For now it’s half full but you can already feel the atmosphere so if it’s a full crowd it will be even better.”
Nonetheless, the former Home United player enjoyed the experience of pitting his skills against the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba.
“They are a class above us. It’s a good eye-opener for me to see world-class players playing against you so it’s a good experience,” Shahdan said.
According to Shahdan, the last time he had played in front of such a crowd was in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup against Malaysia in the group stage at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
“I mean this [the Singapore National Stadium] is not full but it’s about the same [as in Malaysia] but down there [in Malaysia] it’s louder,” he shared.