They finished ninth in the 12-team S-League last season, and against all odds, they brought home the bronze medal from the Vientiane SEA Games last month.
According to Lions boss Radojko Avramovic, 2010 is when the Young Lions, largely made up of the nation’s under-23 team, should prove themselves in local football.
“The bronze medal at the SEA Games showed we have a base we can build on, but it is very important that they establish themselves in the S-League this year,” Avramovic told MediaCorp TODAY.
“Last year they were very young players in the S-League, but this year they will need to show how much they have grown. We’ve got a good group from last year’s squad and I expect them to be more mature this time around.”
And aiding the Young Lions is that they have three foreign players in their ranks for 2010, two from the Yishun Super Reds, and one with experience from Spanish sides Barcelona and Villarreal.
Midfielder Seo Su Jong, defender Kim Seong Kyu and Luka Savic, a midfielder, could be the catalyst for a complete change in the way the Young Lions play.
“Seo will be useful, he will add speed and goalscoring ability to the team, while Kim reads the game well and will be able to organise the defence,” said Sundram.
“Luka is a player that is able to keep the ball moving in the middle of the pitch, while also finding gaps in the opposition defence. We definitely want to entertain, and we’ll take a very positive approach.”
And according to reports, the Young Lions appear to switch comfortably between a standard 4-4-2 formation to a progressive 4-2-3-1 in friendly matches, but for Avramovic, it is the player-development that is still paramount.
“We must continue to groom players from among the Young Lions for the national team. We have seen some results at the SEA Games, and that process must be improved upon,” he said.
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