When Thorsten Schneider singles out chicken feet as one of his favourite dishes, one can tell that he's fast adapting to life in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.
Then again, Singapore is familiar territory for the 27-year-old.
A few years ago, he spent time here on an internship while completing his studies. He also has Singaporean friends back home in Germany, and he credits them for triggering his love for laksa and curry.
Says Schneider, who joined Geylang International last month: "In my opinion, Singapore is the most Westernised country in Asia and I was also here two years ago, so I've had no problems adapting so far.
"Settling down here isn't a big issue.
"I enjoy the weather and the food. The people are very nice, so I really like it here."
On the field, the powerfully built forward is part of the Geylang side that recently reached the semi-finals of the StarHub League Cup, before falling to eventual champions Brunei DPMM on penalties.
While he has enjoyed a fairly impressive start to life with the Eagles, Schneider insists he is not about to rest on his laurels.
"From my perspective, you can never be fully satisfied with yourself or you'll become lazy," he says.
"There's always something you can improve on and even though I've had quite a positive start, we now have to focus on the league and finish the campaign in the best way possible.
"That simply means we'll be trying to win all our remaining matches."
Schneider's smooth transition at the Bedok Stadium has been helped by the fact that the man at the helm - Jorg Steinebrunner - is a compatriot.
And the German tactician admits he is pleased by what his new signing has shown so far, as the Eagles look to alleviate the goal-scoring burden on leading marksman Leonel Felice.
"At the end of the day, you need at least two players in the ranks who can hit double figures," he says.
"You can see that being the case at all the top-six teams and that's why we decided to sign Thorsten.
"He brings physicality to our game, combines well with Leo (Felice) in attack and is also good on the ball for someone who is about 1.9 metres tall.
"But he also has good character, apart from footballing ability, and that is one thing that matters to me when I choose a player for my team."
The Eagles resume their S.League campaign tomorrow when they take on Balestier Khalsa at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Although it is no longer mathematically possible for his side to finish in the top half, Steinebrunner insists there is still plenty to play for.
He said: "I think it's important for us to continue the good work."
* The writer is a freelancer.
This article was published on July 30 in The New Paper.
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