S League footballer Indra's record will stand for a long time

S League footballer Indra's record will stand for a long time

He is the only local-born footballer to have accomplished the feat.

But without a tinge of arrogance, Indra Sahdan Daud feels there will not be another local-born striker capable of scoring 200 goals in local league and cup competitions.

"Especially not if the S.League eventually goes the way of restricting the number of local footballers over the age of 30," said the 35-year-old former Singapore skipper, who told The New Paper he has blown the final whistle on his illustrious career as a professional footballer.

The term "professional" is especially apt for Indra.

He earned much respect for his strong work ethic that has seen him last 19 years and earn 113 caps. He thrilled fans with almost 250 goals in league, cup and international matches.

Yet, after working so hard to get back to shape following a broken leg suffered on international duty, Indra was stunned by a new rule that would have restricted each local club to not more than five players over the age of 30. The age cap was eventually lifted.

"I was really upset with that announcement because if you are good enough, age shouldn't be a factor," he said.

"I did say at the beginning of this year that I was hoping to play for two seasons. Home United did ask if I wanted to continue and I was considering. But after the S.League announced the age restriction, I thought it's better for me to stop.

"By the time the S.League made a U-turn, most clubs had already planned their budgets and signed the players they wanted. I just took it as a sign to retire."

But make no mistake about it, Indra is more content than caustic.

He said: "It felt strange for the first week. Suddenly, there was no pre-season to look forward to and no more training with teammates. That took some getting used to.

"But at the end of the day, you have to move on at some point. I enjoyed my 19 years as a professional and I have no regrets.


"After spending 12 years at a club where I started my career (with Police FC then), I'm still working with Home United at their Mattar Road academy.

"I'm also freelancing at a friend's events company. It's nice to meet and interact with different people, it's not all about closing deals.

"It's also nice of Home United to take care of me even after my retirement, and I'm still able to train and keep fit. I'm still kept busy and I'm content."

Indra, who has played in the S.League since its inaugural season in 1996, can also look back at plenty of highlights.

"Most of my time with Home United was very memorable," said the affable, boyish-looking Indra, who still gets approached by fans even in the confines of the Home United academy.

"Winning the double with Steve Darby and a very good Home United team in 2003 was one big highlight. We also reached the semi-finals of the AFC Cup the following year.

"I've won the 2004 and 2007 AFF Championships, scored against Manchester United as a Liverpool fan, and also the goal against Japan, they were very special achievements. "I never thought that I would score 200 goals, or be a national team captain, or be well-known like this.

"I would like another local-born footballer or a local club to achieve all these feats.

"But at the moment, it doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon, and that's the thing that saddens and worries me."

This article was first published on December 21, 2014.
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