By Khalis Rifhan
Standing at 6-feet 2-inches, Nigerian-born defender Precious Emuejeraye made his S.League debut with the now-defunct Jurong FC on February 21, 2002 against Sembawang Rangers, who have also since left the top flight.
After scoring twice, albeit both at the wrong end of the pitch during that league campaign, Precious finally netted his first goal for the Cobras in the Singapore Cup semi-final against Geylang United in the same year.
It was during his stint with the Young Lions in 2005 that he was awarded Singapore citizenship, and he subsequently made his international debut against Denmark in 2006 under coach Radojko Avramovic.
Precious soon found himself a regular in the national team and featured in every match during Singapore’s triumph in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship, now known as the AFF Suzuki Cup.
But after a botched Suzuki Cup campaign in 2010, where the Lions failed to progress beyond the group stages, Precious found himself sidelined from the national set-up as the national team was dissolved. The defender then decided to start a ‘new life’ in Indonesia, moving first to Sriwijaya FC, then Persija Jakarta.
“It was a good experience with an entirely new atmosphere and challenges," he told Goal.com Singapore.
"It was different playing in Indonesia, because it brought me back to the days when I first started playing in Singapore.
“In Indonesia, I am a foreigner and [there is] no more comfort zone. Sometimes playing here [in Singapore], players tend to get too comfortable. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself. You must not have [any] doubts or fear. This is football, and you must test yourself.”
Although Precious is enjoying his football in Indonesia, he is not ruling out a return to his adopted country and hopes to be able to regain the trust of the national coach in order to don the red and white jersey again.
“Hopefully, I can return to the S.League," explained Precious.
"I am considering coming back to Singapore because my family is here. I am giving it a serious thought about it. We just have to wait and see how it goes.”
With a huge smile, the defender continued: “I do hope to play for Singapore again, but it all depends on my form. If I can impress the coach, then definitely I will return to the national team.”