News Singapore Premier League • July 21, 2021
2021 Singapore Premier League mid-season transfer roundup
SINGAPORE, 21 JULY 2021 – With the second half of the 2021 AIA Singapore Premier League season underway, we take a look at the major ins-and-outs of each of the eight clubs from the mid-season transfer window that ran from 17 May to 13 June…
Albirex Niigata (S)
IN: Hilman Norhisam
OUT: Nathanael Chin
Midfielder Hilman Norhisam, who turned 17 in May, joins the defending champions and takes the number 24 jersey vacated by Nathanael Chin. The 22-year-old forward, who did not make a single appearance, departed by mutual agreement.
IN: Goh Yi Qi, Ho Wai Loon (loan), Iqbal Hussain, Khalili Khalif
OUT: Martyn Mun
The Tigers boosted their attacking options with the signing of Iqbal Hussain, 28. The seven-time Singapore international returned from a season with Chennai City FC in the I-League to wear the number 11 and is joined by Ho Wai Loon, who arrived on loan from the Lion City Sailors. A graduate of the Balestier academy, Ho made 32 appearances between 2011 and 2016 before moving on to Warriors FC and then Home United. The versatile left-sided player, capped twice by Singapore, turns 28 in August and will take his old number 24. Midfielder Goh Yi Qi, 23, rejoins the club after completing National Service and will look to add to his sole appearance from 2019; he takes number three. Defender Khalili Khalif, 24, has also been registered; the number 22 made his professional debut with the Tigers in 2018 and has chalked up over 30 appearances.
Goalkeeper Martyn Mun, who made his sole professional appearance earlier this season, has joined the Young Lions.
IN: Danny Kim, Asshukrie Wahid, Furqan Raoff, Abdil Qaiyyim, Afiq Yunos
OUT: Sylvano Comvalius
One of the major moves of the window, Danny Kim’s arrival at the Eagles has raised the excitement level among their supporters. The defensive midfielder, who turned 23 in May, is a former Australia Under-17 international and has made eight appearances in the A-League for Brisbane Roar. He will wear the number four for Geylang, who also sealed deals for Lion City Sailors stalwart Abdil Qaiyyim and Afiq Yunos. The two defenders will wear 27 and 28 respectively. There is also a return for midfielder Asshukrie Wahid, 23, who made his professional debut for the club in 2017; he takes the number 14. Young midfielder Furqan Raoff, 19, has been assigned to the first team and will take the number 26 jersey; he has made the bench four times but is yet to make his professional debut.
Meanwhile, Dutch striker Sylvano Comvalius departed the club at the end of May by mutual consent to return home. The 33-year-old scored twice in seven appearances.
IN: Amir Zalani, Izwan Mahbud
OUT: Afiq Yunos
The Cheetahs’ goalkeeping ranks were given a serious boost with the signing of Singapore number one Izwan Mahbud, who was without a club after leaving Thai side Samut Prakan City following the conclusion of the recent Thai League One season. Capped 54 times for the Lions, the former LionsXII and Tampines Rovers shot-stopper makes Hougang his third SPL club. Izwan, who turns 31 in July, takes the number 30 jersey. Midfielder Amir Zalani takes the number 29 upon his return to the club after completing National Service and the former Singapore youth international will reinforce their options in the middle of the park.
Centre-back Afiq Yunos, 30, has joined Geylang. Capped 12 times by Singapore, the defender made one substitute appearance this season and departs in search of regular playing time.
Lion City Sailors
IN: Hariss Harun
OUT: Abdil Qaiyyim, Ho Wai Loon (loan)
The Sailors made waves with the capture of Singapore captain Hariss Harun in early May, marking a return to the SPL for the 30-year-old midfielder. Capped 101 times, Hariss left Johor Darul Ta’zim with a bulging trophy cabinet to sign a three-and-a-half-year deal and will take the number 15 jersey. In terms of departures, defenders Abdil Qaiyyim and Ho Wai Loon have moved to Geylang International and Balestier Khalsa respectively.
Tanjong Pagar United
IN: Shakir Hamzah
OUT: Joey Sim
The Jaguars made a big move in the window with the signing of Singapore international Shakir Hamzah, who joins after mutually terminating his contract with Malaysian top-tier outfit Perak FC. The dynamic 28-year-old, capped 53 times for the Lions, is comfortable at both centre-back and left-back and adds vast experience to their defence. He will wear the number 26 jersey. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Joey Sim, left the club by mutual consent after making two appearances since joining in 2020.
IN: Huzaifah Aziz
Gavin Lee added midfielder Huzaifah Aziz, who rejoins the club after being sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury for much of the past year. The 26-year-old, capped four times for Singapore, is a versatile left-footed player and takes the number four jersey.
IN: Martyn Mun (loan), Jared Gallagher, Arshad Shamim
OUT: Nurshafiq Zaini
Three players have come into bolster the Young Lions squad, with Arshad Shamim providing the most experience. The 21-year-old, who plays on the right of midfield but can also drop back to defence, made his professional debut with Home United in 2018 and has since racked up 37 league appearances. He will wear number 27. Goalkeeper Martyn Mun, 21, came on as a substitute for Balestier Khalsa earlier this season to play 31 minutes in a 0-0 draw against Albirex Niigata (S), which marked his professional debut. He will wear number 40. Jared Gallagher, a 19-year-old half-Irish midfielder, has signed after impressing on trial and will aim to make his professional debut. Born in Singapore, he grew up in Hong Kong and turned out for Kitchee SC’s Under-18s and reserves in 2020. Gallagher, who takes the number 30 jersey, also trained with Tampines Rovers’ youth sides in 2019 and 2020, in addition to a stint with Sligo Rovers’ Under-17s in 2018.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Nurshafiq Zaini has retired due to a medical issue. The 22-year-old joined in 2020 and made 15 appearances over two seasons.