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From the NFL to the S.League: The ones who did it

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Shunsuke Nakatake

Not many will remember this Japanese midfielder, but the Hougang Hools most certainly will.

Arriving in Singapore in March, 2013, Nakatake sought for a playing contract with the local S.League clubs.

To his dismay, the transfer window had already closed by then and all the clubs had maximised their five-man foreign quota.

Hougang fans will remember Nakatake

Refusing to give up, Nakatake maintained his sharpness and technical abilities by playing for NFL side Eunos Crescent.

The following year, he went on trial with Hougang United and then-coach Amin Nasri was impressed enough to allocate one of the five foreign slots to Nakatake.

The Japanese took to the S.League like a fish to water and was a key player for Amin’s side as they sought to secure a then-best-ever finish in the S.League.

Although the Cheetahs were eventually edged out for a top-six finish by Balestier on goal difference, many were impressed by Nakatake that year..

Nakatake stayed on for another year in Hougang before earning a move to Malaysia Premier League side Kuantan in 2016.  He signed for PDRM earlier this month.