The Singapore National Women’s team has come together to prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers, with coach Stephen Ng calling up a 23-strong Lioness squad that features 11 players from the Lion City Sailors’ Women’s team (Photo above courtesy of the Football Association of Singapore). 

The Lionesses face a unique challenge, taking on Indonesia in Group C over two matches – scheduled for 24 and 27 September – in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, with the team that amasses the most points from these fixtures earning a spot in the tournament proper in India next year. 

This is the result of the other two teams in Group C – DPR Korea and Iraq – withdrawing from the competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If both Singapore and Indonesia are level on points after the 27 Sept fixture, they will undergo a penalty shootout to determine the winner. 

“The Sailors’ women’s team managed to maintain our thrice a week training schedule throughout the past two years despite the pandemic restrictions that were placed on all teams, and our players are physically well prepared,” said Yeong Sheau Shyan, head coach of the Sailors’ women.  

“We’ve also focused on individual skills in tight areas so our players are more confident in 1v1s and crowded areas,” added Sheau Shyan who is also on national duty as an assistant coach of the Lionesses. 

She revealed that the Lionesses have not had any international encounters for almost two years now, and it will be hard to predict what sort of team Indonesia will put out, and how they will play. 

“We expect them to be tough opponents, but on our part we have put in a lot of work. We have trained five times a week since June – in a training bubble – to make sure we are as prepared as we can be,” said Sheau Shyan.

Sailors’ Lionesses: Beatrice Tan, Ernie Sulastri, Nur Syazwani Ruzi, Nur Umairah Hamdan, Dorcas Chu, Ho Hui Xin, Venetia Lim, Nur Izzati Rosni, Sara Merican, Lila Tan, Danelle Tan