<
>

Fandi Ahmad unveils Sultan of Selangor's Cup squad, vows to attack

The Singapore Selection squad for the 16th Sultan of Selangor's (SOS) Cup on Saturday has been announced, with 21 players called up for the main match against the Selangor Selection, including S.League top scorer Stipe Plazibat.

The red-hot Home United front man from Croatia has bagged 18 goals in 12 matches this season, with 11 coming in the S.League. He will be expected to spearhead Fandi Ahmad's strike force.

He is joined by club teammates Hassan Sunny, Irfan Fandi, Afiq Yunos, Hariss Harun, Faris Ramli and Khairul Nizam.

All seven local sides are represented in the Singapore Selection, while Japanese outfit Albirex Niigata (S) provide two players in Yasutaka Yanagi and Kento Nagasaki. Brunei DPMM are the only S.League side with no representatives.

The Singapore Selection will be out to defend their title on home soil after winning last year's edition on penalties to equal Selangor's record of seven victories.

Singapore hasn't hosted the SOS Cup since the 2009 edition. This will mark the first time that the match has been held at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Pleased to be handed the coaching reins, Fandi has vowed to play attacking football to entertain the fans who will be turning up at the National Stadium.

"It's an honour for me to lead the team; I [actually] have 25 players with me, and I have yet to confirm the final 20," the Singapore legend said.

"We have four players with the under-22s and they will play Vanuatu under-20s on Thursday. Also, players like Madhu [Mohana], Juma'at [Jantan] are still having injuries, so I shall wait to make the final decision.

"Definitely, we'll be looking to play attacking football in a beautiful stadium, demonstrate some skills for the fans, and go out for the win."

Former Singapore international Noh Alam Shah has been appointed team manager. He wants the players to show the same desire on the field that he displayed during his heyday.

"It's a great new role for me to be in after one year of retiring," the 36-year-old said. "I get to work with legends Fandi and [assistant coach] Nazri Nasir, both whom I respect most.

"The best thing for me is that when we call up all these players, they never said no at the first moment; they all want to play. That ignited the fire in me again. I hope they show fire on the pitch, like how I showed fire last time during my career."

In addition to the traditional curtain raiser between the Singapore Veterans and Selangor Veterans, this year's tournament will include a Singapore-Selangor Schools Challenge Cup, which will be contested between the U16 boys of Singapore Sports School, and a Selangor Combined Schools Team.

To date, a total of 24,788 tickets have been sold with tournament co-chairman Teo Hock Seng hoping to see a crowd of more than 30,000 on matchday.

"It's with great pride that we can host this event again," the former Tampines Rovers chairman said. "As you can see, we're going for volume. It's eight dollars for an adult ticket, and three dollars for a concession ticket; we don't earn big money out of this.

"Selangor are sending [more than] 100 buses. The more buses they send, our security costs go up but it does not matter.

"I've seen our list of players and I believe we have a good squad with a quality player in each position. We have two attacking players on the bench [in Fandi and Alam Shah] -- they'll be screaming their hearts out for the players to score goals. That's what everyone want to see."