Garena Young Lions' Amri: Let's play to win every game
National striker urges younger teammates to 'play to win every game'
Already tipped by many to finish this S.League season with the wooden spoon, the Garena Young Lions (GYL) will have to cope with senior striker Khairul Amri's two-week absence due to a calf injury.
But the 30-year-old centurion believes his teammates, many almost a decade younger, can step up to the plate.
Speaking to The New Paper on the sidelines of the GYL training at Jalan Besar last night, he said: "I'm disappointed because I know I have a big role to play in this team and I was hoping to not miss a game.
"I hope to take this team to as high a position as possible, help take the fear out of the team and make them fighters.
"But I'm positive because we have good players in the team. They have been training hard.
"We have good forwards like Fareez Farhan, Adam Swandi, Shameer Aziq, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Hazim Faiz and Shafeeq Faruk.
"It is up to us to prove that we are more than a developmental team. We have nothing to lose, but I don't want the boys to think that losing 1-0 to a senior side is a decent result. We must play to win every game."
Fareez shone in Tuesday's 4-2 friendly defeat by Hougang United with two tidy finishes, adding to another goal he grabbed in the 8-1 rout of Geylang's Prime League team.
He is one of few players in the predominantly Under-21 team to have a full S.League season under his belt.
In fact, he has already scored for three teams - Gombak United, the Young Lions and Hougang United.
"It feels good to be back at a club which I played for four years," said the 21-year-old winger, who made his S.League debut for the Bulls aged just 16.
"I'm aware of my responsibilities as one of the more experienced players in this team and I take it as positive pressure.
"We have good fighting spirit and, as a team, we should be able to climb the standings and do better than what some people think.
"With the Suzuki Cup at the end of the year, it is a good time to show what I can do, and I believe my first national call-up is not that far away."
Another attacker to look out for is former TNP Dollah Kassim Award winner Adam Swandi, who was the Young Lions' best player in the second half of last season, as he notched his first three S.League goals.
Like Fareez, Adam is also eyeing a place in Singapore's Suzuki Cup squad.
The 20-year-old playmaker said: "I'm not at my best form yet because I have not trained or played football for three months due to basic military training. I hope I will be able to make it for every training session and match this season.
"There is so much positive energy in the Young Lions camp and with seniors like Amri and Firdaus (Kasman), we have a good mix of experience and youth, so I believe a mid-table finish is not beyond us."
Meanwhile, Shafeeq is looking to build on his Prime League top-scorer exploits from last season.
The 19-year-old, who scored 20 times for Geylang's Prime League team, said: "I'm super motivated because there is plenty of competition in this team.
"I want to make use of this chance to learn from seniors like Amri and Fareez, earn some playing time, score my first S.League goal and contribute to the team."