Home's Aidil has a striker dilemma
As his side prepare to host newly-minted S.League champions Albirex Niigata tonight, Home United coach Aidil Sharin has a dilemma.
Star striker Ken Ilso is eager to enter the fray, after sitting out Home's last game with a gluteus injury.
However, in the Dane's absence, the Protectors chalked up an impressive 5-0 win over Balestier Khalsa, with the former Bundesliga striker's replacement, Irfan Fandi, scoring twice.
Aidil, 39, has to choose between reinstating his main man upfront, or giving 19-year-old Irfan another crack at leading the line.
He might even decide to field both players from the start.
"I have not decided yet," the coach told The New Paper yesterday.
"In fact, we are not sure if Irfan will be released for the game because of National Service (commitments).
"It's not a very big issue, but one we have to manage.
"But we have a plan, with or without him."
Aidil praised Irfan for his performance against Balestier, which was only his second start this season.
Irfan's other start for Home was in February, against Hougang United. He enlisted for NS in April.
Said Aidil: "I think, against Balestier, Irfan wanted to prove he deserved a place in the first 11.
"He gave his all. I think he was also boosted by his recent call-up to the national team."
Irfan was called up by national coach V Sundramoorthy for the first time earlier this month, for friendly matches against Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The 1.88m tall player, who can also play in defence, made his Lions debut against Hong Kong in a 2-0 defeat on Oct 11.
Aidil is confident of a positive result against Albirex, if his charges can reproduce the hunger they showed against Balestier.
When asked what was the key to the win, the coach said: "It was the determination of the boys.
"Tactics from coaches is one thing, but our players showed they really wanted it.
"To score four goals in the first half, then keep up the pressure in the second half... It says it all."