As mentioned in part 1, I’ve decided to dedicate some time to players I feel deserve some much needed praise and recognition – players who have been robbed of chances to play in the national team. This is Part 2 of a multi-part series.
When we look at players over the age of 23 (born before 01/01/1998) with zero caps, we can potentially form a 19-man squad. I once again re-emphasize this is not including a host of youngsters that have featured prominently in the league. These hot prospects are still eligible for the national under-23 team and I want to focus on players who no longer have that opportunity to play at the national youth team level.
In part 1, 2 and 3, we look at players that have zero national team caps. These players may have been called up to the national team but have never made an official appearance for the Lions and this has to change.
We cover the defense this time round.
The Rarity in the Modern Game and part of the 2020 SPL Team of the Season, it is truly bewildering why he has not had a single cap to his name yet. Taj may have not had the most minutes this campaign, but make no mistake, he is still an incredible player who can fulfill any role you throw at him.
Lionel Tan’s exclusion from the recent national team selection truly annoyed me, but I sincerely hope he gets the chance he deserves at the international level. Brave, determined and a vocal leader on the pitch, Lionel is a star in the making. What’s more, he brings physicality to his game. If he maintains his fine displays, he deserves a chance the next time round.
While Geylang’s defences have been rocky this season, Faizal Roslan has been a decent player for them. However, he needs a new long-term defensive partner to truly establish himself. Thankfully, with the recent arrivals of Afiq Yunos, he now has a centre-back partner to build chemistry in the long run.
Yes, Ahmad Syahir may not have spent the early stages of his career with Balestier but since 2014, he has remained at the club and been ever-present for the Tigers. 7 years (and counting) with one Singapore Premier League team is truly a rarity in a league where players often partake in a huge merry-go-round of transfers. Balestier Khalsa should thank their loyal talisman.
The fact that Syazwan Buhari was not considered for national team selection despite being part of the 2020 SPL Team of The Season and the fact that he has pulled off some impressive saves for the Stags is, well, shocking. The Tampines custodian may have let in a few goals this season, but he could do little to prevent most of these goals. He’ll have to be at his best in Uzbekistan for the Champions League group fixtures – perhaps a reminder to Yoshida on what he missed out on.
And that wraps up my first-team selection with players with zero international caps. That’s not the end though, I have a few more players that deserve recognition and so, they deserve a place on the #Nocap bench. Can you guess who these players are?
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