Former Croatian Under-17 defender signs for Hougang

Durica Zuparic has signed for the Cheetahs to become their fifth and last foreign player after impressing in a trial match against Woodlands Wellington
Hougang United have welcomed another foreign addition to their squad after signing former Croatian Under-17 defender Durica Zuparic for the upcoming 2014 season.

The 1.92-metre central defender impressed in a trial match against Woodlands Wellington last Sunday, capping a fine performance with an individual goal that began from his interception in midfield.

The 29-year-old, who was selected by the Croatian FA as of one of the top three young defenders in 2006, was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to ply his trade in Singapore.

"I feel great and relieved to earn this golden opportunity to play outside of Europe,” he said.

“The situation for football in my country is bad since the sport is largely controlled by mafia. I have heard many good things about Asian and Singapore football from my Croatian friends so this is a dream come true for me.”

Zuparic also set his sights on a successful season with the Cheetahs, as he aims to use his experience to help the younger players in the team to do well.

"For this season, I hope to stay injury free and play as good as I can for the club,” he said. 

“I will like to help the younger players in the team to improve themselves with my vast paying experience.  Even though I have just arrived, I can see that the club has potential to do well this season and that is the primary reason why I am here to help them do so.”

The Croatian has arrived just days after striker Mamadou Diallo was forced to return home to Guinea after he was refused a work permit to stay in Singapore.