Noh Alam Shah made a 25-minute cameo appearance for Tampines Rovers in their 3-0 win over Woodlands Wellington at Woodlands Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Replacing team captain Aleksandar Duric in the 68th minute, the 32-year-old striker showed decent touches and movement in his first club game on local soil in three years.
While he did not display his trademark explosive dribbles at the Rams defence, he showed tactical maturity and understanding with his teammates, covering much ground in midfield and attack.
Speaking to Goal.com Singapore after the match, Alam Shah was pleased to mark his return with a win following his clearance of the Beep Test earlier in the morning.
“I didn’t have much to do tonight as the guys out there already did most of the damage before I came on,” said the Singapore international.
“My main role tonight was to pass the ball, take control of positions behind the other forwards and help cover the gaps in midfield and attack.”
His head coach Steven Tan was pleased to see the return of the prodigal Stag and believed the team have yet to see the best of him.
“It will take another two weeks for us to see the true form of Alam Shah,” commented the Malaysia Cup star.
“His match fitness was clearly there, but it’s the understanding with the rest of the team he needs to work on.
“Around half the team are playing with him for the first time, so he needs time to understand their styles of play and implement them in their play.”
Alam Shah acknowledged he has to make more effort if he is to make an impact for the team in their title run-in.
“We have quality players like Jamil Ali and Aleksandar Duric. Hazid (hat-trick hero Sead Hadzibulic) is an absolutely terrific player,” he added.
“It is up to me to understand them (the Stags he has never played with) more as I am a much more experienced player than them.”
Tan backs his newest recruit to provide the extra spark for the defending league champions up front in the games ahead.
“With him around, he is somebody who can add more quality and experience into the attack and strike fear into defenders,” he affirmed.