Young Lions FC
|Full name||Young Lions Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Young Lions|
|Ground||Jalan Besar Stadium|
|Team Manager||Farehan Hussein|
|Website||Club home page|
Young Lions Football Club (known as Garena Young Lions under a sponsorship deal with internet and mobile platform company Garena from the 2016 season) are an under-23 football team from Singapore. Selected players from the squad were also chosen to form the Singapore national under-23 football team. The team comes under the direct control of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), but is managed as a football club and has competed in Singapore's top club competition – the S.League – since 2003. By entering the Young Lions into the S.League, the FAS hopes to expose young players to top-level competition, thus helping to prepare them for international tournaments such as the Southeast Asian Games. As such, the Young Lions are one of the few football clubs in the world which place an age restriction on team members while playing in a top-flight professional league. Most of the Singaporean members in the Young Lions squad also represent the country in under-23 international tournaments.
While the bulk of the Young Lions squad is made up of members of Singapore's national under-23 team, the club also takes in promising young foreign players like Luka Savic in 2010. He played for FC Barcelona's youth team and once played for Villarreal CF B. He now plies his trade for SAFFC in the S.League. However, foreign players are normally only recruited into the Young Lions squad if they could potentially change their nationality to Singaporean and be eligible to play international football for Singapore at some point in the future.
The aim of creating the club was to give young Singaporean players who had shown talent and a potential the opportunity for further exposure in Singapore's top league. It was also hoped that keeping the bulk of the national under-23 squad together at club level would improve Singapore's chances in the international arena, particularly at the Southeast Asian Games (where only under-23 players are allowed to compete in the football competition).
The Young Lions play their league matches at the newly re-turfed Jalan Besar Stadium. Their best S.League finish was third, which they achieved in 2004 and 2006.
Malaysian domestic competition
In 2011, the Football Association of Singapore and the Football Association of Malaysia reached an agreement that would see greater cooperation between the two nations. One of the intended avenues will see Young Lions play in the Malaysian Super League and Malaysia Cup from 2012 onwards, the first time a Singaporean team has participated in Malaysian domestic football since Singapore won the 1994 M-League and Malaysia Cup double. Although the new Singapore team will have the existing Young Lions set up at its core, the squad will be permitted up to five local players over the age of 14–16 players, as well as a number of overseas players in accordance with the quota set out by the rules of the Malaysian competitions the team will play in.
Ultimately though, a new team was created for the Malaysia league: the LionsXII, while Young Lions remained in the S.League.
In July 2014, a media campaign was launched to establish the Young Lions' social media presence and brand awareness.
The story behind #ThisIsOurQuest revolves around the journey of a young football team in search of an identity. The foundations of a cohesive unit coupled with an unrelenting work ethos shape the club. The players collectively represent the future of Singapore football but to realize their potential, the team has to achieve maturity both as individuals and a team.
National Football Academy
Most of the Young Lions players come from the NFA (National Football Academy) and new players (from the NFA) will be promoted to the Young Lions squad every season.
The National Football Academy enters both the Singapore NFA U-17 and Singapore NFA U-18 teams into the Prime League to allow their players to gain more exposure and match experience by playing against older and more established players.
Performance in domestic competitions
|Season||S.League||Singapore Cup||Singapore League Cup|
|2003||12th (Wooden Spoon award)||33||6||1–5||21||33||77||25||Quarter-finals|
|2013||12th (Wooden Spoon award)||27||5||3||19||20||52||18||Preliminary||Group Stage|
- 2003 saw the introduction of penalty shoot-outs if a match ended in a draw in regular time. Winners of penalty shoot-outs gained two points instead of one.
- As of 28 December 2016
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current coaching staff
|1 January 2009 – 31 December 2010||V. Sundramoorthy|
|1 January 2011 – December 2012||Robin Chitrakar|
|14 January 2013 – 11 June 2015||Aide Iskandar|
|July 2015 – 31 December 2015||Jürgen Raab|
|1 January 2016 – 15 February 2016||Richard Tardy (interim)|
|15 February 2016 – 9 November 2016||Patrick Hesse|
|9 November 2016 –||V. Selvaraj|
|Team Manager||Farehan Hussein|
|Head team coach||V. Selvaraj|
|Goalkeeping coach||Frederic De Boever|
|Sports Trainers|| Nasruldin Baharudin
|Equipment Officer||Omar Mohamed|
Source: "Club Profile – Garena Young Lions". S-League. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- "Young Lions snare S$4m sponsorship deal – biggest in S.League history". Today. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Singapore Lions to participate in 2012 Malaysia Cup – Asia One, 12/07/11
- "Prime League Table". S.League Official Website. 11 July 2012.
- "Football: National coach Bernd Stange's contract extended". Channel NewsAsia. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- Abdul Aziz, Sazali (16 February 2016). "Young Lions' new coach Hesse starts after getting work pass". The Newpaper. Retrieved 16 February 2016.