Adam Swandi is back.
After spending slightly more than a year learning his trade at French Ligue 2 side FC Metz, the precocious 18-year-old will be turning out for the Courts Young Lions for the 2015 Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League season.
The move will not only give Adam the chance to gel with the Under-23 squad - which make up the bulk of the team at next year's South- east Asia (SEA) Games - but it will also grant him more playing time on the pitch, something he did not enjoy in France.
Adam's move back to Singapore will please national coach Bernd Stange, who handed him his senior international debut against Myanmar last June, but was concerned about the player's lack of competitive game time with Metz's Under-21 team.
The German said of Adam in March: "He is still physically too weak to make his mark in France... Adam's not quite happy because the boys there - from Algeria and Morocco - are too strong for him, and he can't play in games."
Despite Adam's mixed fortunes in France, Courts Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar insisted that the youngster's experience will prove invaluable for the team - both on and off the pitch.
"We all know what a talent Adam is. His strength is his creativity on the pitch, and he's the type of player who can provide that final pass to a teammate, and that's what we are hoping he will do every time he plays," said Aide.
"I think his experience at Metz, and what he has learnt in terms of professionalism and what it takes to perform at a higher level, will be a bonus for the team.
"He's joining the team at a crucial stage of his career. Let's hope he can translate his football education from France to the matches he'll play for us.
"It's showtime for Adam."
The talented playmaker agreed with his coach, saying: "I think the main thing that I can share with my teammates is the commitment shown by the players in France.
"It's natural that everyone gives his 100 per cent in games but, at Metz, it was very competitive and everyone went all out even in training, and that's something I'd like to pass on to the Young Lions.
"I want to use this season as a launchpad for the future.
"I want to give of my best, earn a first-team place in the Young Lions team and in the SEA Games squad, and also get back into the national team."
For a player who thrives as the attacking fulcrum of the team, playing just behind the striker, Adam acknowledges that he may not get to play in his favoured position.
But he is ready to fill in wherever he is needed.
"My preferred position would be the attacking midfielder's position, but I know it's up to the coach," said Adam, who as a 15-year-old, impressed at the 2011 Lion City Cup with his intelligent movement, stylish dribbling and ability to create and score.
"It's not easy for me to get a chance to play, especially with the senior players around.
"But, if I do get the chance to play, be it on the right, left or up front, I'll just take my chance and use it to prove that I can be a regular fixture in the team."
This article was first published on December 24, 2014.
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