He was captain of the LionsXII, but shorn of form, confidence and playing time, Isa Halim has decided to ditch the Malaysian Super League and return to the S-League - at Tampines Rovers.
"I need more playing time, especially at my age," the 29-year-old defensive midfielder told The Sunday Times last night.
"I haven't been playing well and I hope that through this move, I can regain my form."
He has made only 11 starts this season, out of 20 games across all competitions.
The player had been ravaged by injuries over the past year, most seriously from a tear in his left Achilles tendon caused by a heel spur. His right knee has also been subjected to wear and tear, causing him discomfort this season.
The move - which he decided on Friday night, just before the S-League's transfer deadline - will reunite him with Tampines coach V. Sundramoorthy.
The duo found success together two years ago, when they were part of the LionsXII team which won the Malaysian Super League title.
"I have worked with him before and I think I played my best football under him," said Isa.
Sundram could not be reached for comment yesterday.
LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad, meanwhile, said that goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud would continue as the team's captain for now.
Isa also revealed that current S-League leaders Warriors FC were also in the running for his services.
"It was a very tough decision to make. Warriors and Tampines are both big clubs," he said.
"But I know what Sundram wants - tactical discipline and organisation in midfield.
"By going to Tampines, he can guide me and help me regain that confidence and trust."
This article was first published on June 28, 2015.
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