Tempted with the prospect of playing alongside high-profile footballers, Singapore forward Fazrul Nawaz did not hesitate to drop down a division to join Malaysian Premier League (MPL) side Sabah.
The 29-year-old yesterday signed a one-year deal with the second-tiered side, where he will link up with ex-Senegal international striker El-Hadji Diouf and defender Abdoulaye Faye, who played for Hull City in the English Premier League last season.
"I'm grateful to (Warriors FC coach) Alex Weaver who helped to set up the move as he knows the Sabah coach (George O'Callaghan) well," said Fazrul, who won the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title with the LionsXII last year.
"I thought they were joking when they asked me if I was interested in joining - I agreed (to) the deal then and there."
This season, Fazrul bagged 10 goals for Home United to finish as the joint-top local scorer in the S-League. Now the speedy attacker, who sometimes attracts criticism for his wayward crossing, might learn a trick or two from Diouf.
The 33-year-old has spent more than a decade playing in Britain for the likes of Liverpool, Glasgow Rangers and most recently, Leeds United. However, Diouf has not featured in a competitive game since January.
The MSL's window for foreign-player registration closed yesterday. Each club can register up to four foreigners, with at least one from an Asian Football Confederation member nation.
Singapore's fast and tricky winger Faris Ramli, arguably the LionsXII's best player this year, was also linked with a move across the Causeway.
But national team manager Visakan Subramanian confirmed that the 22-year-old will remain with either the LionsXII or switch to S-League outfit Courts Young Lions to prepare for the SEA Games in June.
It has been a typical transfer merry-go-round ahead of the new MSL campaign next month.
In arguably the most eye-catching move, Brazilian hitman Paulo Rangel, this year's MSL top scorer with 16 goals, has joined Terengganu after a pay dispute with former employers Selangor.
This article was first published on Dec 6, 2014.
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