Strange calls-up Suparno for World Cup qualifiers

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National head coach of the Singapore football team Bernd Strange has included Courts Young Lions striker Taufik Suparano in his 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Syria.

Suparano's inclusion comes after the team’s main striker Khairul Amri was ruled the next two fixtures due to injury.

However, Strange looked on the brightside and used Amri’s injury as a means to give one of Singapore's most promising strikers a chance to feature with some of the senior players in the squad.

"Taufik deserves the call-up and it will be a key opportunity for him to train with, and learn from, the best national players in Singapore during the next two weeks, including captain Shahril Ishak and Hariss Harun," Stange told the Straits Times.

"Injuries and suspensions are part and parcel of the game. We feel sad that Amri will miss the matches against top Asian teams, and we hope that he recovers well."

Singapore squad

Goalkeepers: Izwan Mahbud (LionsXII), Hassan Sunny (Army United, Thailand), Zaiful Nizam (Balestier Khalsa)

Defenders: Baihakki Khaizan (Johor Darul Takzim II, Malaysia), Amirul Adli (Courts Young Lions), Shaiful Esah (Tampines Rovers), Nazrul Nazari, Shakir Hamzah, Faritz Hameed, Madhu Mohana (all LionsXII)

Midfielders: Christopher van Huizen, Safuwan Baharudin,Izzdin Shafiq, Hafiz Sujad, Zulfahmi Arifin, Faris Ramli (all LionsXII), Hariss Harun (JDT I), Safirul Sulaiman (Young Lions), Yasir Hanapi (Home United)

Forwards: Shahril Ishak (JDT II), Fazrul Nawaz (Warriors FC), Sahil Suhaimi (LionsXII), Taufik Suparno (Young Lions)