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Aide: SEA Games is the priority for Young Lions now...

Adam Swandi scored in the 75th minute 
True enough, to do well in the 28th South East Asia (SEA) Games football competition in coming June will be the utmost priority for the perceived national developmental squad - Courts Young Lions in the first phrase of this season's S.League.

Speaking to the media after conceded a three-one defeat to the visiting Johor Darul Takzim II at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Coach Aide Iskandar confirmed the notion by added during the first six-month of the domestic season will not see any of their foreign signings feature in action.

One option to allow their foreign signings (i.e.: Canadians Jordan Webb and Sherif El-Masri) to gain some match fitness is to loan them out during the preparation period, as the former national skipper explained.

Suria Prakash (middle) burst through the attention
"One of the options we can think of is to try our best to loan out of our foreign signings during the first six months of the season.

"This being the SEA Games, that will, definitely, be our top most priority and we will be having an all local line-up during that period and the S.League is a good platform to prepare ourselves for that."said Coach Aide who will be in charge for the biennial meet's football squad.

As the result, the one-time Johor FA defender will be prowling around the games at various S.League venues.

"At this moment, the squad (for the SEA Games) has not been finalized," said the man who lifted the AFF Suzuki Cup on two occasions as the Lions' captain."It is still early days, also there will be nominated players from the clubs and from the Prime League that I keep repeating to my players 'Nobody is guaranteed a place in the SEA Games and everyone has to fight for it' and it doesn't matter if you are twenty-three, nineteenth or seventeenth, so long you good enough you will be in the team."

When asked the chances of making improvement after using the same "Young Lions" formula for the last few Games that resulted in bronze finishing, "Nobody can guarantee and even José Mourinho can't guarantee success, but I am trying my very best since I am bold enough to take up this position that I want to do well not only for my team and also for the nation as well,

"For me, results are not important now and what is important now is to peak at the right time to do well in the competition."

Shafiq Ghani sent in a cross from the flank
Making their appearance in last evening's friendly were new signings for the developmental side - Shafiq Ghani, Shakir Hamzah (both from Lions XII), Suria Prakash (Warriors FC) and Adam Swandi (FC Metz).

Eventually, it was Adam of the Lion City Cup fame scored the consolation for the hosts in the 75th minute.

"We all know Adam is a creative player, he worked hard for the past two weeks for the pre-season and he deserved a start that he scored a goal which I hope he will improve because he is lacking number of games under his belt, so playing this type of games will help him to improve." opined the former Home United stalwart.

Irfan Fandi is back for holidays 
Meanwhile, spotted in the match in the second half was Irfan Fandi, the eldest son of local legend Fandi Ahmad, whom Coach Aide said he would be one of those nominated players, although he will not be drafted into the Courts Young Lions setup because of his Chilean commitments.

"He (Irfan) will be going to Chile next week, as he is only back here for holidays." he explained.

It was also confirmed that the 40-year-old will once again lead a contingent to Turkey in coming weeks, like they did last year with details to be finalized in days to come.


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