News • February 6, 2016
S.League 2016 Team Preview: Garena Young Lions
The Garena Young Lions (GYL), formerly known as the Courts Young Lions, recently received a major boost for the upcoming season in the form of a $4 million sponsorship deal from local Internet and mobile company, Garena.
GYL will receive $2 million in cash, and a further $2 million for the promotion and development of the team. It is also by far, the biggest Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League club sponsorship deal in the league’s history.
Last season, the GYL were formed with the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in mind. Thus, the bulk of the team comprised of Under-23 players as they geared towards the SEA Games in June last year.
Since the eligible age for the 2017 edition of the SEA games will most likely be altered to Under-21, the GYL have released the likes Syazwan Buhari, Safirul Sulaiman and Al-Qaasimy Rahman, and promoted several players from the national Under-18 team.
Talented teenagers like defensive midfielder Gareth Low, Joshua Bernard Pereira plus brothers Muhelmy and Muhaimin Suhaimi will be hoping to put up impressive showings this season in order to make the team in 2017.
The arrival of Khairul Amri, who will join the likes of Taufiq Suparno, Fareez Farhan and Shafeeq Faruk upfront means that goals will not be hard to come by for the GYL.
Former Metz FC player Adam Swandi, the tenacious Ammirul Emmran and the experienced Firdaus Kasman will hold fort in midfield, while Shameer Aziq, Muhelmy and Muhaimin are expected to terrorise the wings.
In defence, the trio of Amirul Adli, Marcus Wheeler and Zakir Samsudin will be counted upon to help goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad prevent the ball from hitting the back of the net.
Overall, the team, while raw and largely inexperienced, is filled with talent and promise. However, whoever takes over the reigns of the team will have an extremely long and tough season ahead of him.
Star Player – Khairul Amri
As a former recipient of the S.League Young Player of the Year award, there is no better person than the 30-year-old striker to show these young boys the way forward as a professional footballer.
Amri’s experience and leadership will be integral for the GYL this season, as they look to not only gain valuable lessons on the pitch, but also cause major upsets along the way.
Photo courtesy of The New Paper