A-League club Melbourne City FC on Thursday announced the signing of Singaporean defender Safuwan Baharudin.
The 23-year-old National Football Academy project began his professional career with Singapore’s Young Lions before joining the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League, winning the competition in 2013.
Baharudin, who made his international debut in 2010, also contributed to Singapore’s 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup title.
The move to Australia comes after a successful 10-day trial with the City Football Group-owned Melbourne City, during which the technically gifted defender played in friendlies against the UAE’s Al-Jazira and Ukraine’s Dnipro.
“Safuwan is a mobile defender who is calm and composed on the ball and makes quick and good decisions,” Melbourne City coach John van’t Schip said on the club’s official website.
“He impressed the coaching staff while playing and training with us in Abu Dhabi and we believe he will fit in with our players and complement our style.”
Baharudin, the fifth Southeast Asian to join the A-League and the most recent since Indonesian Sergio van Dijk left Adelaide United in 2013, announced himself keen to the challenge.
“When this opportunity came, I told myself that I had to go all out because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that may never come again,” Baharudin said through the club’s release. “I am looking forward to doing my best for the Club and as an ambassador of Singapore. I want to make my parents and family proud of me.”
The Singaporean’s signing, which runs through the rest of the 2014-15 A-League season, will hopefully provide a boost to sixth-placed City who have just 16 points from 13 games and the third-most goals conceded in the league.