For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stange's BIG test against "I Bianconeri"

(L-R) Llorente, Buffon and Allegri
The Bianconeri arrived in Singapore to conclude the final leg of their pre-season Asian Pacific tour that saw them notched up two victories in Indonesia and Australia prior to their arrival on the sunny island.

Following wins against the All-Stars squads of both Indonesian and A-League, Juventus are looking strong to conclude their tour on a high note.

Coach Allegri taking questions from press
"It has been a good preparation so far for our pre season, and we will have two more weeks to work things out before the campaign." said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri at the media conference

Despite having a short session within hours after their landing and still trying to familiarize with the playing surface, the former AC Milan coach is impressed with what he saw at the new National Stadium, the crown jewel of the Singapore Sports Hub.

Gianluigi Buffon - the Azzuri and Juventus skipper

Llorente was a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010
Alongside with Allegri were star goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and striker Fernando Llorente at the media session, which was preceded by the session catered for the Singapore Selection.

The big turnout by the press had the Selection coach Bernd Stange excited.

"It has been four years I had such a big turnout at a press conference, the last one I had was in Paris when I won a game there." said the German coach in his opening brief to the session.

Coach Stange (L) is upbeat of the coming match
"What we have for this match is the future of Singapore football with the local players and foreign players deserved to play for the Selection," added Coach Stange, who led the "mass mobilization" of 41 players to a three-week training tour to Austria recently and the friendly against the "Grand Old Lady" of Italian football presents a perfect chance to show where his works progressed so far.

"This is a promising team that we are using this match to prepare ourselves for the Asian Games and Suzuki Cup (at the end of the year), we are very happy to have Juventus here and looking forward to play this match."

Meanwhile, midfielder Hariss Harun and goalkeeper Hassan Sunny relishing such opportunity to pit against a team like Juventus.

Hariss set to grade himself against Juve
For Hariss, this match would be seen as a gauge of his progress since his switch from Lions XII to Johor Darul Takzim, where he played alongside the likes of ex-Argentine internationals Pablo Aimar and Luciano Figueroa.

Said the 24-year-old:"It is an honour to play with Aimar and Figueroa that had made me a better player, it would be a test (for me) to play against Juve which is going to be difficult, but this is how we learn and I will do my very best to help as much as I can, like the coach (Stange) said this is a preparation for the year end."

Hassan:"A learning experience against Juve"
The similar sentiment is shared by Warriors' goalkeeper Hassan who is taking this match as a learning opportunity from one of the best his department, Juventus skipper Buffon.

"It's a big honour to play against some of the players who recently played in the World Cup like Buffon, who I always look upon to and as well (Carlos) Tevez that I hope to learn as well from this match,

"Also this is the first time I been to here (the new National Stadium) and I don't know what to expect from playing on this new surface that while I am not used to this field because the grass has not fully grown, but we still have to get used to it since this is our stadium." added the 30-year-old custodian.

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