News • April 2, 2016

Stern Test From Stags Awaits Young Lions


Written by: Shawn Lim

Garena Young Lions vs Tampines Rovers

(3 April, Sunday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)

Garena Young Lions will be keen to put up a tough fight against in-form Tampines Rovers when they host the Stags at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday night.

The Stags currently boasts the one of the most powerful strikeforce in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League in the form of Jermaine Pennant, Jordan Webb and Billy Mehmet, with the trio contributing to Tampines’ tally of 10 goals this season, the joint-highest in the league.

While the Young Lions have failed to win in their last five games, coach Patrick Hesse is adamant that his team will continue their positive brand of football and not change their tactics just to contain the Stags, in order to earn a favourable result.

“Tampines are a very good team because they haven’t lose any games yet. They play a lot of games because of the AFC Cup, so they are ready,” said the Frenchman.

“They work hard on recovering the ball and they take no risks even when it is a serious situation. They don’t give a lot of opportunities to opponents.

“However, we will stick to our normal plan, which is to play good football and to build up from the goalkeeper.”

Hesse has also received some positive news ahead of his side’s clash with Tampines, as his key defenders have returned, while striker Khairul Amri is a week out from regaining full match fitness.

“We have a little issue with Muhaimin (Suhaimi), because he cannot play in Iran. But today, he trained again and I think he is good for Sunday. We don’t have any new injuries,” said Hesse.

“(Khairul) Amri worked very hard with the fitness trainer over the past week and I think in a week’s time, he can train again with the main squad.

“We have Shannon (Stephen) and Amirul Adli back in defence, so I hope that we can better defensively in this game because we don’t have to use midfielders like Gareth (Low) and Ammirul (Emmran) as defenders again.”

The Stags are coming into the game on a five-game unbeaten run and will be eager to preserve that record as they seek to stake their place in the race for the title.

However, fatigue could be a cause for concern for Tampines coach V.Sundramoorthy as Afiq Yunos, Fazrul Nawaz, Yasir Hanapi, Shakir Hamzah, Christopher Van Huizen and Hafiz Abu Sujad all played during the international break for Singapore.

Key Men To Watch

Garena Young Lions: Ammirul Emmran

The 20-year-old was recently handed the armband for the first time in Singapore Under-21’s two friendlies against their Iranian counterparts and will be keen to set an example for his teammates.

However, the midfielder will have to be at top of his game if he intends to shut out the likes of Mehmet, Webb and Pennant.

Tampines Rovers: Christopher Van Huizen

The former LionsXII winger has not featured much in the first-team for the Stags this season, but when called upon, has produced a dazzling display.

The lack of first-team football has also seen Van Huizen dropped from the national team initially, but the 23-year-old set aside that disappointment and went on to create both of Tampines’ goals against DPMM.

If he features against the Young Lions, expect the avid skateboarder to grab the chance with both hands.

Garena Young Lions – LLLLL

17/03/16  Home United 4-1 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
10/03/16  Garena Young Lions 1-3 Hougang United (S.League)
04/03/16  Warriors FC 2-0 Garena Young Lions (S.League)
25/02/16  Garena Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International (S.League)
20/02/16  Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)

Tampines Rovers – WDWDW

19/03/16  Brunei DPMM 1-2 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
15/03/16  Tampines Rovers 1-1 Ceres La Salle (AFC Cup)
08/03/16  Selangor FA 0-1 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
03/03/16  Home United 1-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
26/02/16  Tampines Rovers 4-1 Hougang United (S.League)

Head To Head (S.League)

27/09/15  Courts Young Lions 1-3 Tampines Rovers
19/09/15  Tampines Rovers 0-1 Courts Young Lions
05/03/14  Tampines Rovers 1-0 Courts Young Lions
23/05/14  Courts Young Lions 1 – 2 Tampines Rovers
01/03/14  Tampines Rovers 3 – 2 Courts Young Lions