“Daniel Fadhil” will be checking on Hougang’s first opponent of the S.League season, the Courts Young Lions.
COURTS YOUNG LIONS
By Daniel Fadhil
Majority of the team had joined Lions XII mission to be the king of Malaysian football. The essence of Shahfiq Ghani, Neezam Aziz, Aqhari Abdullah, Zulfahmi Ariffin, Hafiz Abu Sujad, Syafiq Zainal, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, Faritz Hameed and Faris Ramli have all left and “promoted” to the MSL team. Other than that, the Young Lions had converted into an all-local team, with Sirina Camara, Benjamin Kritofferson Lee, Sherif El-Masri and Jonathan Toto have all been cleared out of the team.
Hougang would see two familiar faces in the line-up: Ignatius Ang and Farhan Rahmat; whom both have jumped ship to the Young Lions bandwagon in preparation of next year’s SEA Games. Apart from that, the Cubs will have exciting talents in Nurullah Hussein, Samuel Benjamin, Nur Na’iim Ishak and few others all promoted from last year’s NFA U-18 squad.
The Hougang Hools will find the gaffer familiar in Aide Iskandar, as he was the one whom invited the fans, who in turn created the Hougang Hools and the ultras revolution on the terraces in Singapore stadiums.
Aide had a strong record in Hougang, being the coach who brought Hougang to an all-time best finish of 7th in the league and also put Hougang into the League Cup Finals, whom they eventually lose to Albirex. Hougang also finished 4th in the Singapore Cup in the same year. Although the class of 2011 had long gone majority of the squad are still in the team.
Fazli Ayob. Once touted to be the next big thing in Singapore football after SEA Games performances have earned rave reviews; failure to glue a starting place in Lions XII have seen him move back to Courts Young Lions last season. Where he managed to recover his form during his second spell, this season would be decisive for his career, if he continues his stellar form last season.
vs Hougang last season:
The Young Lions fell 3-0 at home against the Cheetahs, in which Sobrie Mazelan, Diallo and Vidakovic found the net in a pulsating game in Jalan Besar, however, back in Hougang, a Sherif El-Masri two goal quickfire saw them run away 2-0 winners. This season, with El-Masri gone, Hougang would have an easier time in dealing with the new-look Courts Young Lions.
The writer, who only wanted to be known as “Daniel Fadhil” is a Hougang fan for over five years. The reason why he came to Hougang as he finds it as a “family” club and also states former winger Jordan Webb and former coach Aide Iskandar as the most “exciting” players Hougang had ever had.