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Anders Aplin

Lions Abroad: Matsumoto Yamaga's Anders Aplin

01:25 GMT+3 21/08/2018
Matsumoto Yamaga
In this series termed 'Lions Abroad', we take a look at some of Singapore's footballing stars who ply their trade overseas

Footballers at times earn an unfair reputation as being people who are only good at kicking a ball. But just as the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Brazil’s Socrates will tell you, it is not always true.

Although he may not be famous as Chiellini or Socrates yet, Anders Aplin can be cast in the same category as the two aforementioned players. Especially since he is a graduate of Nanyang Technological University with a degree in business.

His decision to focus on his studies saw him took a different route into the career of football. The defender would first star for the Singapore Cricket Club in the amateur National Football League.

He would next play for the Singapore Recreation Club where he was spotted by Geylang coach Noor Ali, who was then helming Yishun Sentek Mariners.  Soon he would be invited for trials with Geylang International at the end of 2015 where his determination and aggression was what prompted the club to secure his services.

At Geylang, his performances in the 2017 season prompted former national coach Sundram to call him up to the Singapore squad. He made his debut on 23 March 2018 in a 3-2 win against Maldives, replacing Irfan Fandi in the 73rd minute. He was also picked for a trial with J2 League side Matsumoto Yamaga FC in early 2018.

More recently the 27-year-old made headlines when he became the first Singaporean to play in the J-League, after J2 League leaders Matsumoto Yamaga announced his loan signing from Geylang International on their website. Indeed Anders proved that not all footballers are just about brawns but some do have the brains.