10 quality Singapore Premier League free agents to consider

With an emphasis on youth development for the new 2018 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, the domestic competition will feature plenty of new faces. The downside of that, however, is that a host of players have bid farewell to the league. While it remains to be seen if their departures will be temporary or otherwise, here are the top 10 local players without a club in the 2018 SPL...

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1. Isa Halim

Former LionsXII captain Isa Halim has a formidable footballing CV, having won the Malaysia Super League (2013), Malaysia FA Cup (2015), and two AFF Football Championships (now known as the AFF Suzuki Cup) (2007 and 2012). A hard-tackling defensive midfielder, Isa was drafted into the national team when he was just 18, going on to win more than 60 caps for his country.

But after a tough third season with LionsXII under Fandi Ahmad, Isa has failed to hit the same heights turning out for the likes of Geylang International and Tampines Rovers. The 31-year-old has now hung up his boots and is now doing coaching at the youth level.

But with the experience he has, Isa could very well be an excellent on-field mentor for many SPL sides - although the centre-midfield slot is very well occupied position for most clubs.

2. Al-Qaasimy Rahman

A former captain of the Singapore Under-23 side, Al-Qaasimy is best known for his marauding runs from full-back and his crunching tackles. And after spending seven years in the professional league, the 26-year-old who has six national caps to his name, decided to call time on his footballing career to focus on challenges outside of football, with an ambition of working in the civil service.

The defender, who can play anywhere across the backline, completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Murdoch University last year but has however stopped short of ruling out an eventual return to professional football. With most clubs having young defenders in the squad for the new season, perhaps Qaasimy could be an option later in the season if wants become a need.

Photo: Weixiang Lim/FFT

3. Shaiful Esah

Shaiful Esah is another former national team player without a club after leaving Warriors FC at the end of last season. The 31-year-old has 54 caps for his country and has one of the best left-footers in local football. A search of his name on YouTube brings up a stunning 34-minute video of his highlights with plenty of superb set-piece goals.

Shaiful spent most of his time at Warriors in central midfield, a position which he excelled in and was even involved with the national team side in training, as recent as last October. But injuries would limit his playing time with the club and country, and could have been a factor as to why he has not continued for the club.

But it remains that when free of injury, Shaiful would be a powerful asset for any side. Perhaps teams looking to profit from his set-piece deliveries should give Shaiful a call. Any takers?

Photo: FAS