Safuwan hopes to blaze trail for Singaporeans in Australia

New Melbourne City defender Safuwan Baharudin is determined to fly Singapore's flag in Australia, and hopefully pave the way for more Singaporeans to make the move abroad.

The 23-year-old Singapore international officially joined his new A-League club today, after boarding a flight to Melbourne on Wednesday evening.

He is believed to have signed a loan deal with the Australian side that will take him through the end of the current season.

"I am very pleased and excited to be joining Melbourne City for the rest of the current A-League season," the defender said, in a statement released by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

"I want to thank my family and my wife for their support all these years. They have stood by me through thick and thin, and this is what has made me a focused and better player.

"I hope my time at Melbourne will open the door for more Singaporean players to play here and overseas. Still, the fact is that local players must work hard and remain disciplined if they aspire to reach the next level."

Safuwan also wished his teammates at LionsXII luck for the upcoming season, mentioning that he would be keeping an eye on how they were faring from Melbourne.

"I will continue to look out for LionsXII results while I am there," he said.

"This year’s team has a good balance of experience and youth, and I am confident they will put up a good performance in the Malaysian Super League, and Cup competitions."

FAS President Zainudin Nordin added that Safuwan, already recognised as one of the best players in the region, has further proved his abilities by impressing City enough during his short training stint in Abu Dhabi to be signed by them.

"We hope that Safuwan will be a trailblazer for Singapore football in Australia, and that his move will inspire our young talented players to follow his footsteps," he said.

"FAS is always committed to helping our players grow. We are working closely with our partners, including the leading Football Associations that we have partnership agreements with, to identify and secure overseas opportunities for our other talented and committed players."

Photo: Football Association of Singapore