Safuwan signs for Melbourne City

LionsXII defender Safuwan Baharudin has joined Melbourne City, becoming the first Singaporean to play in the A-League.

The Singapore international, who has 43 caps to his name, has penned a deal that will run till the end of the 2014-15 season after impressing during a recent two-week training stint with City in Abu Dhabi.

READ ALSO Safuwan hopes to blaze trail for Singaporean players in Australia

He will be the third new signing for the club this month, after the captures of Australian international Josh Kennedy and defender Jack Clisby.

"When this opportunity came, I told myself that I had to go all out because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that may never come again," Safuwan said in a statement.

"I worked very hard, and I really enjoyed training with the team in Abu Dhabi and got along well with the other players. I am very happy that the coaches were happy with what they saw.

"I am looking forward to doing my best for the club and as an ambassador of Singapore. I want to make my parents and family proud of me."

While the versatile 23-year-old can play in a variety of positions across the pitch, it is believed that he will be utlised in central defence or at right back.

Patrick Kisnorbo, Rob Wielaert, Connor Chapman and Clisby are the men standing in Safuwan's way in the fight for a centre back slot, but it is on the right of defence where options are a bit thin.

City have played Jason Hoffman and Wielaert in that position to varying degrees of success, and Safuwan was tried out on the flank in his second friendly against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Abu Dhabi.

"Safuwan is a mobile defender who is calm and composed on the ball and makes quick and good decisions," City coach John van 't Schip said.

"He impressed the coaching staff while playing and training with us in Abu Dhabi and we believe he will fit in with our players and complement our style."

Safuwan fills Melbourne City's fifth and final foreign Visa position, with Jonatan Germano, Damien Duff, Robert Koren and Wielaert occupying the other spots.

City will return to league action at home against AFC Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers this Sunday, after the Asian Cup break.