News Singapore Premier League • June 14, 2018

Defence aficionado Amirul Adli thriving at Tampines


The 22-year-old has been a mainstay in the Stags’ starting line-up in his debut season.

Amirul Adli (right) in action against Albirex Niigata FC (S).

SINGAPORE, 14 JUNE 2018 – At the age of 18, he had already made his professional debut for the Young Lions and earned his first cap at senior international level.

He is a player who loves the “competitive nature of the sport” and a person who believes that ‘The Beautiful Game’ teaches him more than just how to play football.

For Amirul Adli, hard work has been key in fulfilling his childhood dream of playing football at the highest level.

“I started playing football at the age of four years old after my brother introduced the game to me,” Amirul told the Singapore Premier League (SPL) website.

“I realised that football brings me full of joy, excitement and pleasure. Furthermore, it drives me to become better each day as a player and as a person.

“I had the privilege of becoming a captain in primary school and together, we won most of the tournaments. Those moments made me realised that I wanted to be a professional footballer when I grow up. So I have always worked hard in training on and off the pitch to make my dream become a reality.”

Amirul made his senior international debut against Papua New Guinea back in September 2014.

On 29 November the same year, he made his competitive debut for the Lions against rivals Malaysia in the 2014 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup at the National Stadium.

It was a moment he would not forget in a hurry.

“Playing against Malaysia in front of at least 48,000 fans at the Singapore Sports Hub was the best moment of my career, no doubt,” he said.

“The feeling of the whole experience was extraordinary. It was a match against our rivals, an important group stage match, my first ever Suzuki Cup game and I was just 18 years old.

“Everything felt special to me!”

Amirul Adli (far left) in the Tampines Rovers FC starting line-up to face Balestier Khalsa.

Amirul believes that his greatest strength is his defensive skill-set and despite favouring a central defensive position, he has thrived at Tampines Rovers FC this season as a holding midfielder.

The 22-year-old looks up to Spanish internationals Sergio Ramos and Sergio Busquets, two veterans of the National Team who will be representing La Furia Roja at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“I love defending. Lots of aspects of my game still need to be improved. However, my main focus right now is to master ball control and passing technique,” he shared.

“I love Ramos’ mentality, energy and professional work ethic. As for Busquets, I love how he plays simple yet effective football. I am always learning to emulate them.”

Despite his admiration for the Spanish duo, Amirul does not have to look far to look for players whom he can look up to with numerous veterans at the Stags, including veterans defenders Daniel Bennett and Fahrudin Mustafic.

“Coach Juergen (Raab), the experienced players and the quality of the team has been the key for my improvement,” the 22-year-old said.

“Being in the Tampines Rovers FC set-up, quality and hard work are expected in every training session so that the team will play at a high standard during matches. This mentality in each Stag is what makes us step up to play well for the club.”

Amirul has certainly stepped up in his debut season for the club, having been on the books of the Young Lions previously.

His importance to the Stags is evident from the fact that he has started in all 10 league matches for the Stags this season and he scored his first goal of the season against the Young Lions in a 4-0 away win at the end of May.

“It has been a while since I scored a goal so to be scoring, it really feels good but I was even happier with the team’s effort and performance at that night,” he commented.

“I’m really happy that I was able to help the team in some way. It is still a long way to go but at least I am one goal closer to beat (Ryutaro) Megumi, Fazrul (Nawaz) and (Khairul) Amri. Hopefully, more goals to come.”

Amirul Adli scored his first goal for Tampines Rovers earlier this season.

Amirul is bent-on taking his football career to the next level and is very clear on what he wants to achieve in life.

“I am not studying currently. My focus is my career right now and that should be the way. You can only play football at a certain age, however, you can always study at any age,” the Tampines number 5 said.

“Learning is a never-ending process. I am focused on giving my best in my career and make the most out of this path that I have chosen.

“In the short-term, I am looking at improving and sharpening my technical and physical skills.”

In the long run, Amirul hopes to become an integral part of the Lions’ set-up.

With barely five months to go before Singapore takes on Indonesia in the 2018 Suzuki Cup at the National Stadium, Amirul is certain of what he needs to work on in order to earn his chance with the National Team.

“The Suzuki Cup is where the best players of ASEAN compete with each other. To be part of The Lions, you have to be one of the best players in Singapore.

“To earn a spot in the team, there is no other way (to do so) other than giving top quality performances consistently for my club. Hard work is the only way.”

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