Young Lions FC

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Young Lions
Garena Young Lions logo.png
Full name Young Lions
Nickname(s) The Young Lions
Founded 2002
Ground Jalan Besar Stadium
Ground Capacity 8,000
Team Manager Kevin Wong
Coach Fandi Ahmad
League Singapore Premier League
2017 S.League, 9th
Website Club website
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] was a professional 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 Singapore Premier 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 Singapore Armed Forces FC 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.

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 League Pos. P W D L GS GA Pts Singapore Cup League Cup
2003 S.League 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 (Wooden Spoon award) 24 2 3 19 23 70 9 Preliminary Withdrew
2017 9th (Wooden Spoon award) 24 1 3 20 10 62 6 Withdrew Withdrew
2018 Singapore Premier League
  • 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 26 February 2018[4]

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 Hairul Syirhan
2 Singapore DF Nazhiim Harman
4 Singapore MF Aniq Iskandar
5 Singapore DF Adam Hakeem
6 Singapore FW Danial Syafiq Mustaffa
7 Singapore MF Naqiuddin Eunos
8 Singapore MF Joshua Pereira
9 Singapore FW Ikhsan Fandi
10 Singapore FW Sharul Nizam
11 Singapore MF Zulqarnaen Suzliman
12 Singapore DF Syahrul Sazali
13 Singapore DF Amer Hakeem
14 Singapore MF Hami Syahin
15 Singapore MF Syed Firdaus Hassan
17 Singapore DF Irfan Fandi
77 England DF Daniel Richardson
18 Singapore GK Zharfan Rohaizad
No. Position Player
19 Singapore MF Naufal Azman
20 Singapore MF Asshukrie Wahid
21 Singapore DF Prakash Raj
23 Singapore DF Ariyan Shamsuddin
24 Singapore DF R Aaravin
25 Singapore DF Rusyaidi Salime
27 Singapore DF Taufiq Muqminin Hossain (captain)
28 Singapore MF Amirul Hakim
30 Singapore GK Adib Hakim
32 Singapore FW Ifwat Ismail
Singapore GK Ridhwan Fikri Aban
Singapore DF Lionel Tan
Singapore MF Gareth Low

Past coaches[edit]

Year Coach
1 January 2009 – 31 December 2010 SingaporeV. Sundramoorthy
1 January 2011 – December 2012 SingaporeRobin Chitrakar
14 January 2013 – 11 June 2015 SingaporeAide 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 – 17 May 2017 SingaporeV. Selvaraj
17 May 2017 – 5 July 2017 France Richard Tardy (interim)
5 July 2017 – 14 December 2017 SingaporeVincent Subramaniam
14 December 2017 – SingaporeFandi Ahmad

Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Team Manager Kevin Wong
Head coach Fandi Ahmad
Assistant coach Robbie Servais
Goalkeeping coach Chua Lye Heng
Physiotherapist Vacant
Sports Trainers Mukhlis Bin Sawit
Equipment Officer Azwan

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]