Young Lions could be scrapped from S.League in 2018 season - report

Young Lions could be scrapped from S.League in 2018 season - report
From ESPN - September 11, 2017

The Young Lions could cease to exist from the 2018 season onwards, as the post-mortem goes on after Singapore's second successive group-stage exit at the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games.

According to The New Paper, an unnamed club chairman called for the disbandment of the under-22 national side, who play in S.League, during a meeting at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) last Friday.

The argument is that it will be more beneficial for local youth players to be fighting for spots at mainstream S.League teams.

The dearth of talent coming through at clubs was discussed in detail during last week's meeting.

"There has been a constant statement that the league has not been a good platform to produce better national players," FAS president Lim Kia Tong told The New Paper.

"That's accounted for, perhaps, the performance of the national team."

Singapore are now at their lowest-ever world ranking of 171st after failing to win a game at senior level since Nov. 2016.

The Young Lions' project was set up in 2003 with the aim of providing young players with regular playing time ahead of the biennial SEA Games, which became an age-group tournament in 2001.

However, in the eight SEA Games since then, Singapore exited the group stage five times. They won bronze on the other three occasions, with the men's football gold medal continuing to elude them.

Their performances in the S.League have also dipped in recent seasons. This year's squad will possibly end as the first league side in history to go through and entire campaign without a single victory.

With 10 games left, they are rooted to the bottom of the nine-team table, with just three points from 24 outings.

Their poor results have led to critics claiming that they do not justify their existence and privileges, like having priority on young talent from S.League outfits.

S.League coaches have backed the suggestion to disband the Young Lions, but with certain conditions.


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