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The reigning S.League champions have swooped in for the defender after he was axed by Warriors FC just days before the opening game of the new season

It was one of the toughest moments he has had to face in his football career.

Just last week, Abdil Qaiyyim was axed by his boyhood club Warriors FC for a “disciplinary matter.”

Having worked so hard during pre-season to get ready for the new campaign, including battling back from an injury, it was a huge blow for the 24-year-old to be dismissed all of a sudden. Abdil admitted that his world came crumbling down when he heard of the news.

“I was devastated of course,” he told Goal Singapore.

“I was looking forward to the season, then it felt like everything came crashing down.”

As it turns out, the tough tackling defender’s woes turned out to be an unlikely blessing in disguise, as 2013 S.League champions Tampines Rovers recruited the former Young Lions, LionsXII and Home United player on Monday to add to their squad depth.

It was a significant silver lining for Abdil, who went from being club-less in one week to playing for the reigning league champions the next.

But Abdil is not taking anything for granted, and is looking to work his way into the first team.  

“My goal is simple in Tampines: it’s a club with very good players and a different style of football, and I want to learn as much as a I can from the players there,” he said.

“There are players I looked up to when I was younger, players like Shariff [Samat], ‘Ah Long’ [Noh Alam Shah] and Kuni [Kunihiro Yamashita]. To be given the opportunity to work with them is still like a dream.

“Personally, I want to work towards the first 18, then slowly try to break into the team. But trust me, it will not be an easy task.”

Abdil’s new team is set to face Kitchee FC in the AFC Cup this Wednesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium, but he is more likely to feature in the S.League match against Courts Young Lions at the Clementi Stadium on March 1.

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