A Point To Prove
A Point To Prove
As the Singapore National Team gathered for centralised training at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday evening, there was a face who linked up with the squad for the first time in a while – Safuwan Baharudin.
One of only two Singapore players plying their trade outside of the country, Safuwan has been named in a 23-man Lions squad which will face Afghanistan in an international friendly in Qatar on March 23 before their 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup Qualifier against Bahrain five days later.
Now into his second year with Malaysia Premier League side PDRM FA after joining in late 2015, Safuwan believes that his experience playing abroad will put him in good stead.
It has been two mixed seasons with the Cops for Safuwan, although he admits that it has helped him become a ‘patient’ player.
“It has not been as easy as I expected it to be because the teams in the Premier League are not so tactically sound, but can be more robust and go in for every challenge,” added Safuwan, who has been capped 66 times for the country.
For now however, the versatile Safuwan wants to help Singapore to go as far as possible.
“The only thing I want to (do right now is to) help the team to go further in the Asian Cup qualifiers,” he asserted. “I am hopeful we can eventually qualify for the Asian Cup proper after this round of matches.”
Coach Sundram says having footballers play abroad can only bode well for the National Team.
“As a foreign player (in any league), you will definitely up your game each time you play and try to be a role model and an example to the local boys,” the 51-year-old said. “I believe they (Safuwan and Hafiz Sujad, who plays in Thailand) will use what they have learned and contribute when they come back to the National Team.”