Singapore Premier League • February 23, 2014
Turkey Trip Sets Tone for Young Lions Clash with Balestier
Courts Young Lions vs Balestier Khalsa
(February 23, Sunday, 7.30 pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Courts Young Lions placed bottom last season, and it will be hard pressed to see how they can improve their standings this season with the departure of several key players to LionsXII, among which included Singapore international Afiq Yunos.
However Young Lions have managed to recruit Delwinder Singh from Geylang International to lessen the blow of Afiq’s loss, and Home United starlet Jordan Webb to inject much-needed attacking qualities to the team.
The Young Lions, barring any injury pre-match, should see Sherif El-Masri and Webb tormenting Balestier Khalsa’s defence and the Tigers will be hoping captain Paul Cunningham does his best to thwart both attackers.
Returning from a month-long training trip in Turkey last month, coach Aide Iskandar is hopeful his boys had gained something from it.
He said: “Well, I think the trip in Turkey was a good preparation for the team and the boys. It was a good chance for us to get together and train as a team for the very first time, and we also played some good opponents there.
“They have changed in terms of their mindset and attitude (after the trip).”
The former Singapore international however admits his team go into this clash as underdogs.
“It’s not going to be easy playing a good team like Balestier because the major bulk of players are still there,” he pointed out.
“They (Balestier) finished fourth last season and are definitely favourites. For me our young boys will go out there and try to perform their best.”
Balestier Khalsa will see their new coach Marko Kraljevic in his first competitive match, who will be looking to improve his side’s fourth place finish last season.
The 2013 League Cup winners have released striker Qiu Li who has been a source of goals for them last season.
However, the impact of Qiu Li’s loss may not be felt as much after Balestier signed forward Goran Ljubojevic. The Croatian has played in Europe with Dinamo Zanamo Zagreb and Genk, and will be counted on to light up the league with his displays and goals.
Courts Young Lions – WWWLL
5/11/13 Courts Young Lions 2-0 Hougang United
31/10/13 Courts Young Lions 2-1 Warriors
27/10/13 Harimau Muda B 0-3 Courts Young Lions
24/10/13 Geylang International 1-0 Courts Young Lions
27/9/13 Courts Young Lions 2-3 Brunei DPMM FC
Balestier Khalsa – WWWLW
7/11/13 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Global FC (RHB Singapore Cup)
4/11/13 Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Balestier Khalsa
30/10/13 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Woodlands Wellington
25/10/13 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United
20/10/13 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-2 Balestier Khalsa
Head to Head (S.League)
27/6/13 Courts Young Lions 1-3 Balestier Khalsa
13/3/13 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Courts Young Lions
21/8/12 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Courts Young Lions
1/4/12 Courts Young Lions 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
6/10/11 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Courts Young Lions
20/5/11 Courts Young Lions 2-0 Balestier Khalsa
28/2/11 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Courts Young Lions