By Khalis Rifhan
Tunisia-born defender Walid Lounis has confirmed with Goal.com Singapore that he has made the move to Tanjong Pagar United.
With previous employer Gombak United sitting out the 2013 S.League season, the Queenstown-based club has wasted no time in securing the Singaporean centreback's signature.
“The day when the club announced that it will not participate for the new season, it was a shock to me. Nobody expected it either. We had a good team and done well in the cup although the league did not go our way,” Walid said.
“But thankfully I had a good season, and to find a club was not tough for me.
“There were offers from other clubs but I choose Tanjong Pagar as it has a good project for the new season to move forward. It will be a new challenge for me.”
Although Walid will be donning the Jaguars jersey for the new season, he did not rule out a return to his former club should they decide to rejoin the league in 2014.
“Gombak have a big place in my heart because the fans and the management are good to me. I wanted to end my career with them. To hear the news and for a person who have a family, I was like 'what is next, or going to happen now?'” he explained.
“If Gombak do return to the league, I have to look at the situation again. If the club wants me, I will return. But in football you never know what will happen within 12 months.
“I will be 30 years old next year so to continue playing after that is like a new challenge yearly. I will look at it year by year.”
Walid is raring to make his presence felt at his new club and believes that they will benefit from the appointment of former Etoile coach Patrick Vallee.
“I am looking forward to the training soon. I have met the management and they have good plans for the club with Valle as the coach and Darimosuvito Tokijan as his assistant,” he elaborated.
“I [have] worked with Tokijan before in Geylang United and he knows his work and the local players well.
“I believe we can do well. Tanjong Pagar will be the underdogs as many people won’t expect us to do well, but I am sure we will.”