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 Garena Young Lions
Nickname(s) The Young Lions
Founded 2002
Ground Jalan Besar Stadium
Kallang, Singapore
Ground Capacity 8,000
Team Manager Farehan Hussein
Coach Vacant
League S.League
2015 9th
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)[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.

In recent years, one player on the team (generally the youngest and/or most attractive) is designated the "young lion". This player is then courted by various members of the team. This practice, an attempt at building awareness of the team internationally for recruiting purposes, has been discontinued since 2011.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

Club Record[edit]

S.League Record[edit]

  • 2003 - 12th place (Wooden Spoon award)
  • 2004 - 3rd place
  • 2005 - 6th place
  • 2006 - 3rd place
  • 2007 - 5th place
  • 2008 - 9th place
  • 2009 - 8th place
  • 2010 - 9th place
  • 2011 - 9th place
  • 2012 - 10th place
  • 2013 - 12th place (Wooden Spoon award)
  • 2014 - 10th place
  • 2015 - 9th place

Singapore Cup Record[edit]

  • 2003 - Quarter-finals
  • 2004 - Quarter-finals
  • 2005 - Quarter-finals
  • 2006 - Quarter-finals
  • 2007 - First Round
  • 2008 - 4th place
  • 2009 - First Round
  • 2010 - 4th place
  • 2011 - Did not take part
  • 2012 - Did not take part
  • 2013 - Preliminary round
  • 2014 - Did not take part
  • 2015 - Did not take part

Singapore League Cup Record[edit]

  • 2007 - Did not take part
  • 2008 - 4th place
  • 2009 - First Round
  • 2010 - First Round
  • 2011 - Did not take part
  • 2012 - Plate Final Runners-up
  • 2013 - Plate Final Runners-up
  • 2014 - Did not take part
  • 2015 - Did not take part


Current squad[edit]

As of 1 July 2015[5]

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

No. Position Player
1 Singapore GK Fashah Iskandar
2 Singapore DF Faris Azienuddin
3 Singapore DF Fadli Kamis
4 Singapore DF Amirul Adli Azmi
6 Singapore MF Anumanthan Mohan Kumar
7 Singapore MF Safirul Sulaiman
8 Singapore MF Shamil Sharif
9 Singapore FW Amy Recha
10 Singapore MF Nur Na'iim Ishak
11 Singapore FW Shahfiq Ghani
12 Canada FW Jordan Webb
13 Singapore FW Taufik Suparno
14 Singapore MF Iqbal Hussain
15 Singapore DF Sheikh Abdul Hadi (vice captain)
16 Singapore DF Shannon Stephen
No. Position Player
17 Singapore MF Adam Swandi
18 Canada FW Sherif El-Masri
19 Singapore DF Ali Hudzaifi
20 Singapore MF Afiq Noor
21 Singapore MF Ammirul Emmran Mazlan
22 Singapore MF Farhan Rahmat
23 Singapore FW Irfan Fandi
24 Singapore GK Syazwan Buhari (captain)
26 Singapore DF Sim Teck Yi
27 Singapore DF Taufiq Muqminin Hossain
29 Singapore FW Danial Razali
30 Singapore GK Rudy Khairullah
31 Singapore MF Shameer Aziq
32 Singapore MF Suria Prakash
33 Singapore GK Ahmad Fadly Tamiri
35 Singapore GK Benedict Loh


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[6] Germany Jürgen Raab

Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Team Manager Singapore Farehan Hussein
Head team coach Vacant
Assistant coach Vacant
Goalkeeping coach Vacant
Physiotherapist Vacant
Sports Trainers Singapore Nasruldin Baharudin
Singapore Muklis Sawit
Equipment Officer Vacant

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. ^ Operation Young Lion - Courts Young Lions FC, 5/9/11
  3. ^ Singapore Lions to participate in 2012 Malaysia Cup - Asia One, 12/07/11
  4. ^ "Prime League Table". S.League Official Website. 11 July 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Football: National coach Bernd Stange's contract extended". Channel NewsAsia. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 

External links[edit]