Lions Abroad: Chonburi FC's Zulfahmi Arifin

In this series termed 'Lions Abroad', we take a look at some of Singapore's footballing stars who ply their trade overseas

His technique has never been questioned nor has been his ability to deliver dangerous balls from set-pieces. But many tend to criticise Zulfahmi Arifin’s work ethic, a quality which has more often than not stopped him from reaching his full potential.

Always compared to midfield compatriot, Shahdan Sulaiman for their similar abilities, Zulfahmi is a midfielder who boasts flair and creativity.

During his tenure with the LionsXII, he had a topsy-turvy form which saw brilliance and mediocrity. The 27-year-old is a player who glides rather than run full throttle. His artistry is one that cannot be urged to rush but that has changed after he signed for Thai side Chonburi FC.

Playing in a league which has a higher intensity Zulfahmi credits Singapore Premier League legend Therdsak Chaiman, who is Chonburi's assistant coach for mentoring him.

The former Thai international, who won five S.League titles during six glorious years with Singapore Armed Forces FC (now Warriors FC), is one of few Chonburi officials who speaks fluent English which has helped Zulfahmi greatly.

Therdsak also helped the Singaporean improve by working on his weaknesses and strength especially given the knowledge he has on Singaporean players.

Recently, Zulfahmi started in both of Chonburi FC’s recent matches in the Thai FA Cup.

He completed the full 90 minutes in a 4-1 win over BEC Tero Sasana in the third round, before playing 88 minutes as Chonburi crashed out of the competition with a 1-0 defeat to Ratchaburi.