Safuwan set to taste A-League action

Safuwan set to taste A-League action
TRIAL OVER: Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin returns home, after playing his part in two friendlies for Melbourne City.

Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin is poised to make his A-League debut, after he was named in Melbourne City's 18-man matchday squad for the showdown against AFC Champions League holders Western Sydney Wanderers tomorrow.

In an interview with a club representative, Melbourne City coach John van't Schip sang the praises of his new signing yesterday, and said: "We brought him in because we believe he is good enough.

"I believe he is good enough, and he can play. So it's up to him now to get in the competition and show that he can play in the line-up."

After impressing the Australian side in a mid-season trial in Abu Dhabi, the 23-year-old centre back (right) struck a three-month loan deal on Thursday to become the first Singaporean to sign an A-League contract.

This means he has 15 games to make an impression and help his new team finish in the top six of this season's A-League, and secure an extension for the finals series in May.

Safuwan, who can be a force both in defence and attack, is keen to show his new fans what he is capable of, and also make Singapore proud.

"John spoke to me, that he wants me to be in the team... Hopefully, things go well and I'm looking forward to Sunday," he said.

Van't Schip has no doubts that Safuwan will be a hit.

The former Ajax coach said: "We brought him in because we believe in his qualities, which he showed us in the 10 days he was with us in Abu Dhabi, and he made a very good impression.

"He has pedigree... and we are confident he can play at this level.

"Now it's about getting used to training here - he needs a little bit of time to get used to the new kind of things.

"We are happy with him. He did very well in the sessions and I think he is going to be a good player for our team.

"He can play at fullback, left centre back. He's still young, he's still at a moment when he can get better.

"It's up to him to go and have a competition with the other players to make sure he can be playing a lot of games."

This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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