Zainudin: Players should not get carried away by overseas offers

The Football Association of Singapore president says they will guide players who want to play in foreign leagues as much as possible and that such moves should benefit them

Following the success of the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League, there has been interest in several of the players from clubs across the Causeway and leagues such as Thailand and Japan.

Captain Shahril Ishak is reported to have attracted interest from Selangor FA, while Johor Darul Takzim have set their sights on Baihakki Khaizan and Hariss Harun. 

Sources close to Goal Singapore have also revealed that several LionsXII players are on the radar of lower division clubs in Japan.

However, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin has urged players to fully understand the details of any offer and not jump into a deal that will not be beneficial to them. 

“I am always very cautious [about such offers] and we need to, at the same time, guide our young professionals,” he told Goal Singapore.

“If they want to explore their opportunities elsewhere, they need to be able to understand their own strengths, weaknesses and at the same time not to get carried away.

“These are the kind of things which we will always monitor and we want to guide them as much as possible so that the decision is proper, well-decided and well-informed, not [made] in a rush and [they are] not lured by just the attractive packages offered.

“We need to ensure that if they have other opportunities which will be even better and stronger, we will definitely expose them to places in Europe.

“More holistically, what is good for them and their long-term careers?”

But Zainudin acknowledges that ultimately, the responsibility still lies on the players when it comes to deciding on their next moves in their footballing careers. 

“At the end of the day, it (any move) is for the good of their family and to ensure that they will become a better player and be more valuable," he pointed out.

“We try as much as possible to talk to them as they are our players but at the end of the day, we know that they are grown-ups and have wives and parents and they have to make the final decision [themselves].

“We will continue to monitor [them] and hopefully will be able to guide them to make proper decisions.”