SPORTS Teenager mulling over whether to extend Metz stint or return home for the SEA Games
Teenage national footballer Adam Swandi got some unexpected good news on the sidelines of the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship Award ceremony at the ITE College Central yesterday morning.
"I talked to (Minister for Culture, Community and Youth) Mr Lawrence Wong earlier," he told The New Paper excitedly.
"He told me he can help me defer my NS (National Service) until after next year's SEA Games."
The South-east Asia (SEA) Games on home soil next June has been on Adam's mind a lot recently.
It is a key reason the 18-year-old is mulling over whether to extend his contract with French top-tier club FC Metz, and serving his NS instead.
If he picks the latter, he will likely play for Courts Young Lions in the S.League, as the Football Association of Singapore revealed to TNP on Tuesday.
The Singapore Sports School alumnus must decide whether to enlist or join Metz for another year by Aug 31.
And now that Mr Wong has offered a helping hand, Adam says he is leaning towards staying in Singapore.
"The SEA Games is such a big competition for us, and I really want to be a part of it," he said.
"If I go back to Metz, they won't release me to play, like (what happened during) last year's SEA Games (in Myanmar). I'll make my decision after the Austria trip with the national team."
Adam has been back in Singapore for almost two weeks, but will bid goodbye to his family for nearly three weeks as he will be part of the joint training tour to Austria from tomorrow to July 23. Making the trip to Europe will be the national squad and the Under-23 team.