Home defence: Abdil Qaiyyim – a little older, a little wiser

Home United's rock at the back once allowed his setbacks to get the better of him but he has learnt his lessons since, as Kenneth Ho finds out speaking to the defender gunning for a place at the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup...

If anyone were ever in Abdil Qaiyyim's shoes, they would be forgiven for not wanting to persist in a pursuit of being a professional footballer.

In the early stages of the Home United mainstay's career, playing time was hard to come by and it was best summed up by his handful of appearances for the now-defunct LionsXII.

The defender thought things would change for the better when he joined boyhood club Warriors FC in 2013, especially as he started to feature more regularly and earned a call-up to the national team under then-Singapore head coach Bernd Stange.

However, life did not go as expected. He failed to debut for Singapore and it was followed by a chain of events that led to a downward spiral in his career.

"I let it get into my mind and then it was quite bad for me," Abdil shared with FourFourTwo. First, it was the disappointment of not being able to don the national jersey. 

Abdil has led Home's defence capably this season

Then, the centre-back's world came crashing down as he was cut by Warriors the following season due to alleged disciplinary issues.

Tampines Rovers came and offered him a lifeline but Abdil still remained a peripheral figure for them and his once-promising career threatened to fade into oblivion.

It was not until he joined Home in 2015 that Abdil's performances picked up. With regular games under his belt, Abdil blossomed into a mature defender who now marshalls his back-line with authority.