Football: SEA Games: From setbacks to the Young Lions' armband

S'pore U-22 skipper feels team are in the mix for SEA Games gold despite being written off

He may not have a glittering resume that lists success after success. It might not even bode well that in the mission to win the SEA Games gold medal that has eluded Singapore, the Under-22 football team are captained by a young man who has faced failure after failure.
But maybe, just maybe, he is the right man for the job. After the hype of the 2015 tournament on home soil that produced zero returns, this year's vintage are going to Kuala Lumpur with low expectations and the distinct tag of underdogs.
Chief among them is their skipper Shahrin Saberin, a young centre-back who has been down and out, and yet continues to stand up in the face of adversity, a specialist in chasing lost causes, a man who makes lemonade from lemons.
To understand the man, it is necessary to rewind to his beginnings. Like many footballers, his journey started during childhood at the age of eight when classmates at Jingshan Primary School asked him to take up the sport as a co-curricular activity.

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Practise. Learn. Practise. Improve. Practise. Match. Repeat. That time-honoured process took him all the way to the Singapore Sports School, a recognition that he had talent in those legs. Then the tailspin began.
"I attended the trials for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). More than 1,000 boys were there and I was there all the way until the final 20 were selected," Shahrin recalled.

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