New Zealand international Butler signs for Tampines

The Waitakere United captain has penned a deal with the S.League champions until the end of the current season and will add bite to the midfield
Tampines Rovers have signed midfielder Jake Butler from Waitakere United, making the New Zealander their third new recruit in the mid-season transfer window.

The defending S.League champions have been actively bringing in new foreign players, having already reinforced their squad with former Geylang International star Jozef Kaplan and A-League goalkeeper Justin Pasfield.

Butler, 29, is their latest addition and the Waitakere captain was delighted to complete a swift move to make the step up from the semi-professional ASB Premiership.

"They were looking for a midfielder and liked some video footage they had seen of me," he explained to Waitakere's official website. "I was then invited over to see the club and train for a couple of days, before agreeing terms and signing a contract.

“I have always wanted to test myself overseas in a professional competition so in that regard I’m very happy. It feels great to get an opportunity like this, especially at a big club like Tampines Rovers.

"The staff and players have been great so far and remind me a lot of the people at Waitakere."

Butler led Waitakere to a record four consecutive titles as skipper from 2009 to 2013 and has three caps for the All Whites at international level. He was also here in Singapore in 2010 for centralised trials organised by the Football Association of Singapore, aimed at showcasing foreign players to S.League sides, although he was not signed up eventually.

The Stags could potentially hand debuts to Butler and his fellow new signings Kaplan and Pasfield when they take on Geylang International tonight at the Jalan Besar Stadium.