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Singapore coach Sundram calls up Home United's Azhar Sairudin

Former Tampines Rovers coach V. Sundramoorthy has wasted no time in stamping his mark as Singapore national team coach by calling up Azhar Sairudin.

The 30-year-old Home United midfielder has been one of the top performers in the S.League for the past two seasons yet was never picked by ex-Lions' coach Bernd Stange.

"I didn't see it coming at all, just that many people around me said it is time for me to get called up," Azhar told ESPN FC.

"I'm enjoying my football with Home at the moment, but I didn't think the call-up would come at this age. The pace of football at the international level is different and I'll do my best for Singapore if I get on the pitch."

Singapore will participate in the AYA Cup in Yangon from June 3 to 6 against Vietnam, Hong Kong and host nation Myanmar.

Home United midfielder Azhar Sairudin
Home United's Azhar Sairudin has been called up to the Singapore national team for the first time.

These will be Sundramoorthy's first competitive fixtures as Singapore coach and he has named a strong squad, which includes Home United playmaker Azhar, Tampines veteran Noh Rahman and PDRM FA's Safuwan Baharudin.

Lions' regulars Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Shakir Hamzah and Chris Van Huizen miss out, while Hougang United duo Nazrul Nazari and K. Anumanthan are on the list, along with Johor Darul Ta'zim II stars Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak.

The goalkeeping duties will be shared by Izwan Mahbud, Army United's Hassan Sunny and Balestier Khalsa stopper Zaiful Nizam.

Singapore squad for AYA Bank Cup:

Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Zaiful Nizam

Defenders: Afiq Yunos, Hafiz Sujad, Noh Rahman, Madhu Mohana, Baihakki Khaizan, Nazrul Nazari, Safuwan Baharudin

Midfielders: Yasir Hanapi, Izzdin Shafiq, Hariss Harun, K. Anumanthan, Zulfahmi Arifin, Azhar Sairudin, Faris Ramli, Gabriel Quak

Strikers: Khairul Amri, Fazrul Nawaz, Shahril Ishak, Amy Recha

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