Three players from the Lion City Sailors have been called up to represent the Singapore Under-22s at the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, from 5 to 17 May 2023, in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh.

The football competition at the biennial competition kicks off a week earlier.

Defenders Nur Adam Abdullah, Bill Mamadou and forward Abdul Rasaq Akeem make up part of Philippe Aw’s 20-strong final squad which was confirmed by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Wednesday (26 April) evening. 

The latter two are set to make their bow in the biennial regional competition after impressing for the Sailors in the first round of the 2023 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season.

Bill has started four of the Sailors’ eight matches this year, demonstrating the versatility to slot into both full-back and centre-back positions.

Meanwhile Rasaq has displayed his ever-sharpening predatory instincts up front, with five goals in six appearances – equalling his career-best tally achieved last season over 19 games in all competitions with the Young Lions.

This will be Nur Adam’s second SEA Games campaign after making his debut in last year’s delayed edition in Hanoi, Vietnam – playing in all four games, including a feisty 2-2 draw with Malaysia.  

The effervescent left-back will be a key figure for the U22 setup, with his experience playing in regional competitions like the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Asian Cup qualifiers and the AFC Champions League over the past couple of years.

Aw’s boys face a tough challenge to qualify from Group B as they will jostle with the likes of record 16-time champions Thailand, regional powerhouses Vietnam and Malaysia, as well as an ever-improving Laos over 12 days between 30 April to 11 May.

Nur Adam – who recovered from a shoulder injury in time for this tournament – is determined to do all he can to help the national U22s put up a respectable showing.

“I know I’m one of the more experienced ones in the squad, so the responsibility is on me to lead and guide the younger players here. Also, it’s going to be my last SEA Games so I’m going to give my all to do the country proud,” said the 22-year-old.

“We all know how tough it will be, but nothing is going to stop us from trying. We’ve been gelling well as a group, and we’re all prepared to go out there to show what we can do.”