Skill, speed and smarts – SEA youth footballers promise hope

I’m excited! The future of Southeast Asian football is headed for exciting times as the region has some electrifying attacking talent.

No! I’m not going to talk about 34-year-olds becoming naturalised footballers in Malaysia. Lips sealed!

When I say exciting, I mean the youths from the region. And the Thais have two they can throw their hats (and futures) on.

Supachai Jaided is 22, while Suphanat Mueanta is 18, but these two footballers have proven their ability to score goals at the Asian level.

Vietnam has Nguyen Tien Linh and Ha Duc Chinh, both aged 23, and dynamic.

The Indonesians boast Muhammad Rafli at 22, a year younger than Osvaldo Haay, whose middle name is, you guessed it, Ardiles.

However, there’s already a star in their midst in the skills of Egy Maulana. Based in Poland with Lechia Gdańsk, this 20-year-old could well be the biggest attacking talent from Southeast Asia.

In Laos, 22-year-old Somxay Keohanam, quite possibly won’t score as many goals as his ability suggests, simply because he may not get the service.

Recently, on The Plot podcast, I was asked who was the best player I’ve ever played with. I replied: “Fandi Ahmad of Singapore.”

Fandi and I played many matches together and won many trophies. Today, Fandi’s boys, Ikhsan, 22, and IIhan, 18, continue the family legacy. They are going to have to carry Singapore forward with their goals, while older brother Irfan, defends!

Strange twist of fate – Papa Fandi only had to attack, but his boys will need to do both! Attack and defend.

But I’m most excited for Malaysia’s very own attacking talent – Safawi Rasid, 23, Luqman Hakim, 19, Arif Aiman, 19, Akhyar Rashid, 22, and Ramadhan Saifullah, 20.

These boys create a buzz every time they get the ball. There’s pace, trickery, and power. Let me tell you, we are going to be Kings of ASEAN.

The shootout between Southeast Asian prodigies currently based in Europe – Luqman (Belgium), Ikhsan (Norway) and Egy (Poland) – I believe is going to be won by our own Luqman.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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