Young Lions FC

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This article is about the developmental S.League club. For the national age-group team, see Singapore national under-23 football team.
Young Lions
Garena Young Lions logo.png
Full name Young Lions Football Club
Nickname(s) The Young Lions
Founded 2002
Ground Jalan Besar Stadium
Ground Capacity 8,000
Team Manager Farehan Hussein
Coach V. Selvaraj
League S.League
2016 9th
Website Club home page
Current season

Young Lions Football Club (known as Garena Young Lions under a sponsorship deal with internet and mobile platform company Garena from the 2016 season)[1] 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[edit]

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.[2]

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[edit]

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.[3]

Performance in domestic competitions[edit]

Season S.League Singapore Cup Singapore League Cup
Pos P W D L F A Pts
2003 12th (Wooden Spoon award) 33 6 1–5 21 33 77 25 Quarter-finals
2004 3rd 27 14 5 8 74 52 47 Quarter-finals
2005 6th 27 12 6 9 44 37 42 Quarter-finals
2006 3rd 30 15 7 8 67 43 52 Quarter-finals
2007 5th 33 13 8 12 45 54 47 Preliminary Withdrew
2008 9th 33 7 10 16 30 46 31 Semi-finals Semi-finals
2009 8th 30 9 7 14 33 48 34 Preliminary Group Stage
2010 9th 33 9 12 12 37 45 34 Semi-finals Preliminary
2011 9th 33 7 6 20 33 54 27 Withdrew Withdrew
2012 10th 24 6 5 13 25 37 23 Withdrew Group Stage
2013 12th (Wooden Spoon award) 27 5 3 19 20 52 18 Preliminary Group Stage
2014 10th 27 7 5 15 38 54 26 Withdrew Withdrew
2015 9th 27 7 6 14 30 43 27 Withdrew Withdrew
2016 9th 24 2 3 19 23 70 9 Preliminary Withdrew
  • 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.


Current squad[edit]

As of 28 December 2016[4]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Singapore DF Marcus Wheeler
3 Singapore DF Amirul Adli Azmi
4 Singapore MF Joshua Pereira
6 Singapore MF Ammirul Emmran
8 Singapore DF Tajeli Selamat
9 Singapore FW Taufik Suparno
12 Singapore DF Irfan Asyraf
13 Singapore FW Hazim Faiz
14 Singapore FW Hami Syahin
15 Singapore DF Zulfadhmi Suzliman
16 Singapore DF Shannon Stephen
18 Singapore GK Zharfan Rohaizad
No. Position Player
20 Singapore MF Muhaimin Suhaimi
22 Singapore DF Zakir Samsudin
26 Singapore FW Shafeeq Faruk
27 Singapore DF Taufiq Muqminin Hossain
28 Singapore MF Muhelmy Suhaimi
29 Singapore MF Ryan Syaffiq
30 Singapore GK Kenji Syed Rusydi
31 Singapore FW Shameer Aziq
33 Singapore DF Faizal Roslan
35 Singapore GK Fashah Iskandar
37 Singapore DF Rusyaidi Salime
38 Singapore FW Darren Yap
44 Singapore MF Zulqarnaen Suzliman
49 Singapore DF Syahrul Sazali

Past Coaches[edit]

Current coaching staff[edit]

Year Coach
1 January 2009 – 31 December 2010 Singapore V. Sundramoorthy
1 January 2011 – December 2012 Singapore Robin Chitrakar
14 January 2013 – 11 June 2015 Singapore Aide Iskandar
July 2015 – 31 December 2015[5] Germany Jürgen Raab
1 January 2016 – 15 February 2016 France Richard Tardy (interim)
15 February 2016[6] – 9 November 2016 France Patrick Hesse
9 November 2016 – Singapore V. Selvaraj
Position Name
Team Manager Singapore Farehan Hussein
Head team coach Singapore V. Selvaraj
Assistant coach
Goalkeeping coach Belgium Frederic De Boever
Physiotherapist Vacant
Sports Trainers Singapore Nasruldin Baharudin
Singapore Muklis Sawit
Equipment Officer Singapore Omar Mohamed

Source: "Club Profile – Garena Young Lions". S-League. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 


  1. ^ "Young Lions snare S$4m sponsorship deal – biggest in S.League history". Today. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  2. ^ Singapore Lions to participate in 2012 Malaysia Cup – Asia One, 12/07/11
  3. ^ "Prime League Table". S.League Official Website. 11 July 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Football: National coach Bernd Stange's contract extended". Channel NewsAsia. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  6. ^ Abdul Aziz, Sazali (16 February 2016). "Young Lions' new coach Hesse starts after getting work pass". The Newpaper. Retrieved 16 February 2016. 

External links[edit]