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Singaporeans who went abroad: The Thai trailblazer, the young guns Down Under

With Izwan Mahbud recently sealing a move to Thai side Nongbua Pitchaya, FFT takes a look at 10 others who tried their luck in foreign lands in the first of a three part series... 

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Sivaneswaran Ramalingam

Not many would know this, but the late Sivaneswaran was reportedly the first Singaporean to play in Thailand.

Back when he was 15 years old, he headed to Thailand to train under former Thai national coach Withaya Laohakul for one and a half years.

After completing National Service, the bulky centre-back managed to secure a move to second-division club Ban Bueng FC in 2009.

However, "Siva" returned to Singapore to play for Sengkang Punggol (now Hougang United) in 2010 as he wanted to be closer to his ailing grandmother.

He moved back to Thailand to join Chonburi the following season and eventually dropped a division down to join Amnat FC on loan to get more playing time, before hanging up his boots in 2012 at the age of 25 due to a lack of opportunities.

He went on to work as a sales manager in a Thai beauty products company, before tragically passing away in May 2016.

Baihakki Khaizan

Part of the pioneer National Football Academy (NFA) batch, Baihakki played for Young Lions and Geylang United (now Geylang International) for six and a half seasons before joining Indonesia Super League side Persija Jakarta in September 2009.

The elegant centre-back joined rivals Persib Bandung the following season but only lasted six months there, before signing with Medan Chiefs in February 2011.

He returned 'home' to join the LionsXII in 2012 after three years in Indonesia and managed to earn a big move to Malaysia powerhouse Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) two years later.

Baihakki soon dropped down to the JDT II squad though and played there for two seasons, before returning to the S.League to join nine-time champions Warriors FC.

Photo: Persib Bandung