Waiting for their chance
Webb and Sherif hope to earn citizenship with their performances for Young Lions
COURTS YOUNG LIONS v BRUNEI DPMM FC
(Tonight, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Jordan Webb didn't take too long to remind the local football fraternity that he was back in town.
In his second start for the Courts Young Lions on Thursday, the Canadian winger scored the breakthrough goal which set his team on their way to a shock 2-0 win over Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League leaders Warriors FC at Woodlands Stadium.
It was the perfect way to announce his return and now, like his compatriot and teammate, Sherif El-Masri, the 27-year-old is waiting patiently for the chance to don Singapore colours on the international stage.
Both Webb, and Sherif, 25, are being tracked under the Foreign Sports Talent scheme, and have been playing in the S.League for more than the prerequisite five years, having arrived in 2009.
Webb went through the ranks at Sengkang Punggol and later Hougang United, before joining the Young Lions last year.
Sherif joined the Singapore Under-23 side in 2012, after two seasons at Home United.
The two players left the Young Lions as then-coach Aide Iskandar elected to focus on the team eligible for last month's South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
Now, they're ready to show why they deserve an opportunity to play for Singapore.
"I want to play for Singapore, that's why I chose to stay here all this while," said Webb, who received an offer from a Chinese Division One club at the end of last year.
"But it's up to them (the Football Association of Singapore). I'm confident I can help the Lions - I just want to be given the chance."
Sherif, who can operate on the flank or as a striker, said the duo haven't heard anything from the authorities since last year.
He left for Canada last December, and kept himself fit playing for United Soccer League (USL) teams there.
He returned to the Young Lions in May, where he trained with the LionsXII for a few weeks.
"(LionsXII coaches) Fandi (Ahmad)and Nazri (Nasir) have been asking me about the passport (conversion), but I honestly don't know if the process is moving or not," Sherif said.
"All the papers have been submitted, we've been here five years, so we're really just waiting on FAS."
In the meantime, coach Juergen Raab, who took over the team from Aide last month, is pleased that the Canadian duo have added some flair to the team.
When asked if the two can be of an asset to the national side, the German had no doubts.
"They are both good enough for the national team. Jordan, especially, can help give more options to (head coach) Bernd Stange on the flanks," said Raab.
"He just needs to control his temperament on the pitch, but he has the speed, skill, and quality in one-on-one situations.
"For now, I am happy that they are both fit to play for the Young Lions. If they can (gel) with (midfielder) Adam Swandi and (striker) Amy Recha, we will be a better team."
The Young Lions, who are bottom of the 10-team league, will play their third game in seven days tonight, when they take on Brunei DPMM FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The Bruneian side have never lost to the Young Lions, winning eight of 10 matches since 2009.