Hassan: I'm looking at other options
The Singapore international was speaking to FourFourTwo at ITE College East, where the 2014 S.League Awards Night was held on Sunday evening.
Hassan, 30, is the first goalkeeper to win honour in the league’s history, no mean feat considering he was up against goalscoring threats like Albirex’s Kazuyaki Sakamoto and Brunei DPMM’s Rodrigo Tosi.
He is also the first local-born player to win the award since Shahril Ishak in 2010.
“To win this award is something I will remember for the rest of my life,” a jubilant Hassan said.
“I’ve worked very hard since 1st January, and it’s still not over yet. I’ve been pushing myself every day for the league title, and this award”
The award also comes as a sort of respite for Hassan, who had to suffer the agony of watching former club Tampines win the league title for two consecutive years after he joined Warriors, where he has played under no fewer than three different coaches in three years.
“It has definitely been [a hard journey],” Hassan said.
“I shall not make any comparisons between the three coaches, but I think it’s down to the players as well.
“This year, the players are much better; not quality wise, but in terms of team spirit.
“Coach Alex (Weaver) gathered us at the beginning of the year and had us go through tons of team bonding sessions. It is not necessary to football, but that was the big reason that we won the title.”
It has been no secret that Hassan has been aiming for a playing stint overseas, and the goalkeeper admitted that he has not signed a new deal despite an offer of extension from the Warriors.
“Yes, they offered me a contract extension, but I’m looking at other options. I hope I can step up to the next level – I’m looking to play overseas,” Hassan explained.
“I’ve not really received any offers, but I have a few agents talking to me who wish to bring me out of [Singapore].
“I’m not sure which country they are working for me at the moment. I just hope for a start it’s somewhere safe for my family to go. I have two kids so safety is my priority.
“If the football is good there then I don’t mind playing overseas for a year or two. I have no preference for any country.
“But if let’s say that it is not successful, then I will have to look at other options locally.”
Photo: Football Association of Singapore