Teen impresses Eagles four years after failing trial
Four years ago, Shamusyaraff Shamsuden signed up for an age-group football trial conducted by S.League outfit Geylang International - but failed to get the attention of coach Noor Ali.
But, at The Arena last night, the 15-year-old midfielder's leadership and technical ability impressed not only the coach, but also his S.League idols Gabriel Quak, Faritz Hameed and Fahrish Khan.
Shamusyaraff left such a big impression on Noor Ali that he received an invitation to join Geylang's Under-17 team.
The Crest Secondary School student was one of eight players from Lakeside Family Services present at a football clinic organised by Geylang yesterday to prepare them for the Epson Youth Challenge.
It is a five-a-side tournament held in support of Sport Singapore's Singapore Football Week, and will see a turnout of 180 teams at the Serangoon Stadium and Jalan Besar Stadium this weekend.
Noor Ali, who took over as the Eagles' head coach last month, told The New Paper: "In Geylang, we always believe in youth development.
"I may have missed Sham four years ago but I like what I see in his character (now). He's confident with the ball, he doesn't panic and he shows leadership on the pitch."
An overjoyed Shamusyaraff said: "Getting noticed by coach Ali, and stars like Gabriel and Faritz, makes me feel so proud of myself - I've finally been able to showcase my talents."
National footballer Faritz added: "People are always saying that (Singapore football) lacks talent.
"But, the talents are always there. It's about discovering them, guiding them and putting them in the right places so we can polish them and help them become stars."