Singapore Premier League • March 28, 2018
Adam Swandi Aims to Soar Higher with White Swans
Adam Swandi has joined Albirex Niigata FC (S) for the new season (Photo courtesy of Albirex)
Buoyed by a solid 2017 season, the playmaker wants to keep progressing at his new club
SINGAPORE, 27 MARCH 2018 – He burst onto the scene at the 2011 Lion City Cup and went on to become the second-youngest ever debutant for the Singapore National Team two years later.
By then, Adam Swandi was already in the Under-19 side of French second-tier outfit Metz FC and was widely regarded as one of local football’s rising stars.
But after choosing to return home to serve National Service (NS), despite Metz’s offer of a year-long extension after his two-year deal ended, the attacking midfielder’s trajectory stalled.
NS commitments meant that Adam played 35 games and scored four goals in total over the 2015 and 2016 seasons as he struggled to find his best form.
But the silky-smooth playmaker regained his mojo after transferring to Home United FC at the start of 2017. Finding his feet in a free-flowing attack, Adam played 31 games and scored seven times across the league, domestic cups and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
“At the start of the season when we started playing AFC Cup games, I realised that 2016 wasn’t the best of seasons (for me); it was honestly one of the worst,” the 22-year-old recalled.
“Coming on from that year, 2017 was a really good one; with the guidance of the senior players like Juma’at Jantan, Hassan Sunny, Hariss Harun, Faris Ramli, Stipe Plazibat and Sirina Camara, I was able to be at my best in almost every game.”
Adam’s form led to a National Team recall earlier this month and he earned his sixth international cap in the 3-2 friendly win against Maldives, which was also his first since August 2015. It was just reward for his efforts over the past year.
“It was disappointing (not to be called up for so long)… but I also knew I still have many years left to play football, so I just kept on working hard,” he said.
“In 2017, I was closer to my ORD (Operationally Ready Date) date so things in NS slowed down a bit and I was able to go for training more often and I got good support from my NS side and everything just clicked well in 2017.”
Adam Swandi celebrates after scoring for Home United last season (Photo: FAS)
His performances also caught the eye of Quadruple champions Albirex Niigata FC (S) and the Japanese side signed Adam for the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SPL) season along with goalkeeper Shahul Rayyan – their first two Singaporean signings ever.
It is a new chapter and challenge for Adam, but he is taking it all in his stride.
“Of course there’s a language barrier but it’s normal; if I happen to go overseas in future, it’s something I have to adapt to (also) and I don’t see it as a problem,” he pointed out.
Adam has also been impressed by the unity at the club, noting that it is not just the players who give their all: “Even the staff put in 110 per cent; they come early and leave late too, and I think it’s the collectiveness that makes the club so successful over the past two seasons.”
Handed the number 10 jersey, Adam is aiming to continue his progress with the White Swans, who have swept all four domestic trophies available each year in 2016 and 2017.
The first title to defend is the Great Eastern Community Shield this Saturday, where Tampines Rovers FC are their opponents at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub.
“The past few years have helped me to develop and there’s so much more for me to learn,” Adam asserted. “I feel like I’ll never be satisfied; I may have done decently (last year), but there’s always a lot of room for improvement and that’s why I am hoping to do much better this season with my new team, and also with the national team when I get called up.
“My target is to win the title and the cups and eventually for me… be in the (Singapore) team for the Suzuki Cup.
“I am looking forward to playing in my first ever Community Shield and hope to get off to a winning start to the season. I also hope to see many fans turn up and cheer on the first ever SPL match.”
Buy tickets for the Great Eastern Community Shield here: bit.ly/2Ggv9Js