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Singapore and Home United defender set for Thai trial

Home United defender Abdil Qaiyyim may find himself plying his trade in Thai League 2 in 2018 if all goes well... 

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FourFourTwo has learned the 28-year-old will be off to Thailand on Monday for a week-long trial with Khonkaen FC. 

I never saw this opportunity coming my way ...my objective was simply to help the team progress in the AFC Cup and in the S.League

- Abdil Qaiyyim

Led by former Thai international Anurak Srikerd, the T-Rexs finished champions of the 2017 Thai League 3 Upper Region, securing promotion to the second tier next season. 

From 2018 onwards, Thai clubs across different divisions are allowed to sign five foreign players per team, with at least one player from an Asian country and another from Southeast Asia. 

Since re-joining Home in 2015, the tough-tackling Abdil has developed into one of the best local centre-backs in the S.League.

He earned his first Singapore cap in a 2-1 friendly defeat to Cambodia in July 2016, before playing an integral role in the Protectors' surprise run to the AFC Cup ASEAN zonal final in 2017.

The former LionsXII defender is looking to grasp the opportunity to join his former teammate Hassan Sunny in the same division. 

Hassan has re-joined Army United on a one-year contract after captaining Home to a third-placed finish in the S.League last season. 

"To be honest, I never saw this opportunity coming my way," Abdil told FourFourTwo. "My objective this season was simply to help the team to progress in the AFC Cup and in the S.League. 

"When I was told they (Khonkaen) were interested, I was very thrilled for the opportunity to make the step up to a bigger league and I really hope everything will go well during the trial.

"2017 was a good year for me, where coach Aidil Sharin gave me a lot of opportunities and there were experienced players like Hassan and Hariss (Harun) to learn from.

Coach Aidil Sharin gave me a lot of opportunities and there were experienced players like Hassan and Hariss (Harun) to learn from

“That translated into confidence on the field for me." 

Abdil could become the fourth Singapore international to play in Thailand if he manages to secure a contract with Khonkaen. 

John Wilkinson was the first as he played for Police United (now known as Police Tero FC after a merger with BEC Tero Sasana in 2017) in the top-tier in 2011. 

He was followed by Hassan, who played for Army between 2015 and 2016, before they suffered relegation to the second tier. 

Hafiz Sujad was the most recent example as he played for second-tier outfit Big Bang Chula United (BBCU) at the start of 2017 before the club's abrupt withdrawal from the league in late April.