Coach Martini was full of praise for his side as they concluded their campaign.
“I have coached the Singapore national team at six international tournaments now, and as a Canadian, I am always struck by the passion that these players have for the Singapore name on the front of their jerseys,” he said.
“The players’ passion for hockey is infectious, and it’s an honour to help them build their skills and their knowledge so that they can hopefully make all the citizens back in Singapore proud!” he added.
Singapore’s squad in Bishkek were aged between 16 and 46, and Martini singled out one of his youngest players for praise.
“While it has been great to see the steady play of veteran leaders such as captain Daniel Chew and Ryan Tan, the highlight has to be the emergence of a core group of very young players,” he said.
“Our goaltender Joshua Lee is 16 years old, and has proven himself to be the most talented goaltender in the tournament. While other goalies in the tournament may have better statistics, I can assure you that I have been playing and watching hockey for 30 years, and none of the other goaltenders in the tournament has shown the talent and skillset that Josh has.
“Additionally, we have had many players aged 16 to 21 playing big minutes, and (they) have taken huge strides this week, both offensively and defensively. The future of Singaporean hockey looks very bright, and I am excited for what the future holds for this group.”
Chew and Redden said that having a core group of young players will be key to Singapore earning more success on the ice.
“Having a younger team will help to lead team Singapore to more medals,” said Chew.
“We will be working harder to expand the team and try to have more younger players playing ice hockey.”
Redden added that “the next stage for Singapore ice hockey is to continue to develop and grow its young roster of players”, although he noted that the young and growing team have had to work around National Service obligations and fine-tune communication.