It can't be more bizarre than this when a media release (dated 11th of January 2014) issued by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced the Courts Young Lions (CYL) will embark on a Turkish pre-season tour for their S.League preparation.
Led by coach Aide Iskandar, who led the Cubs to a SEA Games bronze medal last December, the contingent will be taking on opponents, including Azerbaijan Under-21s, Denmark Under-21s and Czech Republic side Slavia Prague in Antalya.
|El-Masri (no32) re-signed for CYL|
The said release also confirmed the re-signing of one-time Canadian U23 international Sherif El-Masri and recruitment of Jordan Webb (from Home United) to the developmental squad with both of them, reported to be on the radar of the Foreign Talent Scheme (FTS), joining the month long tour.
“Such a training camp matches the FAS Strategic Plan’s objective to expose our young players with the necessary overseas match exposure and experience, while taking on quality opponents. The experiences obtained from this camp will also aid our players in their preparations not only for the long-term, but also for the upcoming 2014 S.League season.” said coach Aide on the tour objective in the same release.
|Webb switched to CYL this year|
Yet, the bizarre occurrence took place when it was stated Warriors' custodian Hassan Sunny is included in the squad of 24 and raised a few eyebrows too.
Merely indicated that the presence of the 29-year-old Lions 'keeper is "lending his extensive experience to an otherwise youthful team" with the question asked isn't Hassan supposed to be involved in his club's pre-season preparation for the upcoming SLeague too?
Bear in mind, it's not a week tour, but a month away for Hassan to be away from his club training and one cannot help but to ask: -
- The presence of Hassan that essential for the sake of "experience" when the developmental side are to play against their Azerbaijan and Danish peers?
|Warriors' Hassan in CYL tour for "experience"|
- Would it set a precedence in the near future a "senior" player would call up for any training tour for nature (let's not forget it's Courts Young Lions - a S.League club doing this tour and having a player from another club taking part) ?
I will not ask on Warriors' stand on this issue, as they may feel alright in the first place if not they wouldn't let their 'keeper away for four-and-a-half weeks.
Maybe all these in the name of "national cause" when the release mentioned "The Courts Young Lions squad, made up of players eligible for the 2015 SEA Games,...".
Maybe it's necessary, after all...