National Team - Lions ● Nov 16, 2018

Know Your Lions: Part 1

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SINGAPORE, 16 NOVEMBER 2018 – We profile the Singapore National Team players who are representing the nation at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018. First up are the goalkeepers and defenders…


Hassan Sunny
Date of birth: 2 April 1984
Club:
Army United (Thailand)
Caps/goals
: 79/0
Apart from the 2012 AFF Championship, which he missed due to injury, Hassan (above) has been a part of all of Singapore’s AFF Championship campaigns since 2004. In 2016, the shot-stopper was named by British newspaper The Telegraph as one of the top 20 goalkeepers in the world.

Izwan Mahbud
Date of birth: 14 July 1990
Club: Nongbua Pitchaya
(Thailand)
Caps/goals
: 44/0
Izwan was a key player in the Lions’ 2012 AFF Championship triumph, as the then-22 year-old played every minute of that campaign. In 2015, he shot to worldwide game after saving a remarkable 18 shots in a 0-0 draw away to Japan in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match

Zaiful Nizam
Date of birth: 24 July 1987
Club:
Balestier Khalsa
Caps/goals
: 2/0
Zaiful made his international debut when he came on as a substitute against Brunei in June 2015. The goalkeeper, who captains Singapore Premier League (SPL) side Balestier Khalsa FC, recorded an impressive 100th consecutive start for the club in 2016

Zulqarnaen Suzliman
Date of birth: 29 March 1998
Club:
Young Lions
Caps/goals
: 5/0
A winger who was converted to right-back this season, “Mamat” (below) made his international debut against Mauritius this September. He is the youngest of four brothers, who have all played for the Young Lions. Zulqarnaen’s first professional goal was a memorable bicycle kick against Home United in 2017.

Faritz Hameed
Date of birth: 16 January 1990
Club:
Home United
Caps/goals
: 29/0
Faritz made his Lions debut in 2013 and started in all of Singapore’s 2016 AFF Championship matches. The marauding right-back can be relied on to provide pin-point deliveries from his flank and is capable of playing on the wing as well.

Irfan Fandi
Date of birth: 13 August 1997
Club:
Young Lions
Caps/goals
: 19/1
In 2014, Irfan was named in British newspaper The Guardian’s “Next Generation: 40 of the Best Young Talents in World Football” at 17. The strapping centre-back, who started off as a striker, became the first Singaporean to play in South America when he turned out for Chile’s Universidad Catolica.

Safuwan Baharudin
Date of birth: 22 September 1991
Club:
Pahang (Malaysia)
Caps/goals
: 83/7
The Lions stalwart made his debut in 2010 and featured in every game in the past three AFF Championships. Safuwan (below) made his name as a centre-back but can also play further upfront. He had a fruitful loan spell in the Australian A-League in 2015 when he scored two goals in six appearances.

Baihakki Khaizan
Date of birth: 31 January 1984
Club:
Unattached
Caps/goals
: 133/5
Along with Shahril Ishak, this tournament will be Baihakki’s eighth AFF Championship. The veteran centre-back has made 29 tournament appearances since his first campaign in 2004. With 135,000 Instagram followers, @i.am.baihakki is the most followed Lion on the social media platform.

Shakir Hamzah
Date of birth: 10 October 1992
Club:
Home United
Caps/goals
: 45/2
The son of former Singapore International left-back Hamzah Haron, Shakir has followed his father’s footsteps with distinction. The indefatigable left-footer made five appearances across two AFF Championships in 2014 and 2016 and is the first choice left-back so far in this tournament.

Nazrul Nazari
Date of birth: 11 February 1991
Club:
Hougang United
Caps/goals
: 28/0
The right winger rose to prominence when he starred for the LionsXII in his debut season with them in 2013. Also capable of playing at both full-back positions, Nazrul has plenty of pace to burn and will look to make his mark in this edition after missing out on the 2016 AFF Championship. He already made his tournament debut as a late substitute in the 1-0 win over Indonesia last week.

Zulfahmi Arifin
Date of birth: 5 October 1991
Club:
Chonburi (Thailand)
Caps/goals
: 36/0
Zulfahmi is one of seven players in this squad to possess a 2012 AFF Championship winners’ medal. The set-piece specialist, who missed the 2016 edition, plays centrally in midfield but can double up at left-back and is also known for his precise passing