Singapore women’s national team head coach Stephen Ng has named a squad of 25 players for this week’s international friendly matches against Seychelles and Papua New Guinea, in the FAS Tri-Nations Series 2022 (Women’s).
Singapore will face Seychelles on 4 April 2022 before playing Papua New Guinea a week later. Both international ‘A’ friendly matches will be held at Jalan Besar Stadium and kick-off at 8:30pm due to the fasting month.
The upcoming matches will be the team’s first international outings since their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup Qualifiers campaign in Tajikistan last September. Tickets are currently on sale via fas.org.sg/tickets.
Coach Stephen said: “It is vital for us to continue the development we have made since the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers and to keep building on it. To do this, we need to have more competitive action to be able to test the different dynamics within the squad, and for the players to keep pushing themselves to get to the next level. While we have had several friendly matches with local clubs, we need to keep challenging ourselves. Seychelles and Papua New Guinea will each be a good challenge and it will be a way to benchmark our progress. I’m also sure that the team is excited to play at home after four years and is determined to put on a good showing.”
The Tri-Nation Series will allow for the Lionesses to get valuable preparation ahead of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, where they will compete for the first time in 19 years. Overseas-based forwards Danelle Tan and Putri Syaliza will make the trip back home from England and the United States of America respectively, where they are currently schooling.
Coach Ng added: “I have not had the chance to work with Putri since my appointment as head coach but have kept tabs on her performance in Florida and watched video reels of her. I know of her technical ability and am glad to see that she has kept advancing herself in America. Danelle has also been training with boys since she moved to London to keep pushing herself, and I would like to see how we can fit the two with the rest of the team to find the best combination.”
Meanwhile, forward Clara Lau and goalkeeper Hazel Lim have each received their first call-up to the national squad. Along with defenders Khairunnisa Khairol Anwar and Siti Nurerwadah, they hope to make their debuts for Singapore.
There are also recalls for defenders Syafiqah Peer, Nadhra Aqilah, as well as midfielders Mastura Jeilani and Nur Afiqah Omar, who was away from action for a total of four years due to two anterior crucial ligament tears and a knee dislocation, all sustained on her right knee.
The 21-year-old made her international debut in 2017, at the mere age of 15, against Sri Lanka and played a full match on her second appearance against Guam two years later, where she scored in injury time.
Afiqah said: “It was tough having to deal with my injuries, one after the other, and I was moments away from ending football altogether. It seemed like my playing career had ended, even before it really began. I’m thankful for this opportunity to wear the national jersey again and I hope to get some minutes on the pitch. The team is focused on improvement, and we are excited to apply ourselves in these two friendly matches. We want to work on our team’s confidence and finishing, and it is also a personal target of mine to help my team to the best of my ability and to score a goal.”
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