Five Singapore imports who didn't just come and go

A number of foreigners have played in the S.League, but only a handful have put down more permanent roots, a few even becoming Singapore citizens. FourFourTwo lists five of those players… 

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1. Itimi Dickson

Nigerian forward Itimi Dickson was a popular figure in the early 2000s, lighting up the S.League during his time with Jurong FC.

Given his speed, agility on the ball and eye for goal, it was little surprise Dickson was granted Singapore citizenship under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme in 2004, and helped the Lions to the Tiger Cup that same year.

Dickson retired in 2012 and now coaches for private league ESPZEN.

Despite his obvious talent, the now 34-year old was involved in his fair share of disciplinary issues, one of which was allegedly punching Harun Juma’at of Home United back in 2001, for which he was slapped with a three month ban and S$1,000 fine.

Dickson also missed centralised training with the national squad in 2007 and was handed a six-month ban by FAS.

He retired in 2012 and now coaches for private league ESPZEN.

2. PJ Roberts

The midfielder played for Geylang United in 2003 and helped them to runner-up positions in the S.League as well as the Singapore Cup.

Roberts had previously turned out for Canberra Cosmos and Perth Glory in the Australia National League and Sarawak in Malaysia.

After one season with the Eagles the Australian was forced into an early retirement due to injury. He then forged a career as a football presenter, frequently doing commentary and analysis.

Roberts is now head of Commercial at Catapult Sports

Roberts was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2013, which required him to undergo emergency surgery, followed by chemotherapy.

He has made a full recovery since and is currently the Head of Commercial at Catapult Sports.