Young Lions FC – Match Report vs Geylang International FC (16/04/2022)

Young Lions have not won a single game in 2022 prior to this match and faced a side who was also struggling in the league. Young Lions played in a 4-4-1-1 in possession and defended in a 5-3-1-1 formation. Young Lions would press high up the pitch as Geylang struggled to play out from the back, forcing loose long balls to be contested. Young Lions fullbacks were high up in the midfield line while their midfielders would rotate in different positions, either dropping deep to create passing lanes or to find space in between lines.

Geylang played in a 3-4-3 or 3-3-4 formation, and Young Lions would pin 3 players in Geylang’s 3-man build-up phase. Geylang played a high line, which exposes the space for Young Lions’ forward to vacate. When Young Lions are unable to pass through horizontally, they looked to find the wings to progress the ball.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for level, re-watch
  • D – Below average in this match

Joel Chew

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Singaporean
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 09/02/2000
  • Current club: Young Lions FC
  • Career: Tampines Rovers FC, Young Lions FC
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Left Winger, Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Joel plays as an attacking midfielder in this game, with the license to roam around the field. Occasionally he would drop in front of the defense to provide passing options and tries to dictate or influence the game. Joel is an intelligent and fantastic footballer who excels as a transitional player that likes to play quick layoffs or 1-2s to evade pressure and put his team on a counter. He would press from the front and tries to win the ball up high on the pitch. He has an eye for a pass and has the spatial awareness of his surroundings and space available of his teammates to exploit and receive a pass.

In this game, Joel assisted a goal in transition which he manages to hold on to the ball and played a good ball for Young Lions’ 2nd goal. He has the technical capabilities to play through balls, long balls, and swing in good crosses from set-pieces into dangerous areas which were shown for Young Lions’ 4th goal.

Joel reads the game well and is calm under pressure. However, he has moments of lapse of concentration and technique, losing the ball unnecessarily. Joel isn’t physically dominant as has a small stature, as he would not contest many aerial duels and get outmuscled easily.

Rating – A2

Joel is one of the most exciting youth players in Singapore’s football. It comes as a surprise that he has yet to earn a senior Singapore cap. With Singapore’s style of play, he fits the playing style as he is one of the few players who excel in transitional play.

Jacob Mahler

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Singaporean
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 20/04/2000
  • Current club: Young Lions FC
  • Career: Young Lions FC
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Defensive Midfielder, Centre Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Jacob plays as the left centre-back in this game. He was tasked with man-marking Geylang forward Šime Žužul who has a physically stronger and taller stature than Jacob. Jacob dominated the battle, winning most of his aerial and ground duels. He frustrated the Geylang forward all night, always winning the battle. He’s a proactive player who intercepts the ball reactively and would position himself well in the box to defend. He reads the play well in deciding when he should intercept the ball or follow his man before closing him. He is a brave and aggressive player who wins the ball fairly. He would carry the ball forward and drive through available space.

Jacob isn’t a bad passer either. He has an eye for a pass and a good vision, paired with good technical abilities to progressively pass it to his teammates. When he’s unable to progress the ball in between the lines, he would find his teammates on the wings and his long ball often finds his man accurately.

Jacob is a no-nonsense defender who often doesn’t take risks and clears the ball. However, I think Jacob should remain calm in situations where he does not have to clear the ball, but instead retain the ball and look for options.

Rating – A2

Jacob has said that he wants to venture out of local football and I believe he could perform at similar heights in other bigger south Asian league, or the lower leagues of European football. Unfortunately, he ruptured his ACL before the SEA Games and would look to recover soon.

Ryhan Stewart

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Singaporean
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 15/02/2000
  • Current club: Young Lions FC
  • Career: Tampines Rovers FC, Warriors FC, Young Lions FC
  • Position: Right Back
  • Secondary Position: Right Midfielder, Centre Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Ryhan played as a RB in this match but was often found high up the right channel. Ryhan had an easy game against Geylang as he dominated Geylang’s left-back who could not physically cope with him. Ryhan has tremendous speed and engine as he runs back and forth on that right channel to attack and defend. He made that right-wing his own and scored 2 goals, and has shown he has the ability to finish and create chances for his teammates.

Ryhan’s 2nd goal

He played in a few great and accurate crosses and lay it off to his teammates which were finished poorly. Ryhan likes to run in behind his man and space. He positions himself on the last man to beat the offside line. Defensive wise Ryhan is very good in ground duels and is decent in aerial ones. He’s good in 1v1 and is hard to get past.

As Ryhan is always high on the pitch, he would leave a big space in behind him, which was not exploited enough by Geylang. He needs his teammates to cover for him whenever he goes high up the pitch, but with his incredible engine, the coach has faith in Ryhan and his team to cohesively work together.

Rating – A2

Singapore has a few decent right-backs in the ranks but I could see Ryhan being a challenger for the right-back spot and being the right back in the XI. He has the pace, stamina, and technical and defensive abilities to be a modern full-back.

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