Hassan weighing up S.League move after severing Army ties

Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny is weighing up a potential return to the S.League after financial constraints at Army United forced him to part ways with the Thai club.

Hassan is coming off a starring role for an otherwise disappointing Lions team at the Suzuki Cup, finding a place in FourFourTwo’s Best XI of the group stage.

He has one year remaining on his contract with Army United, but the club wants to end the relationship now, with negotiations continuing.

At 32, Hassan appears to be at the peak of his goalkeeping powers, but isn’t sure of his next move.

“I have no options in Thailand,” he told FourFourTwo. “I might return to the Singapore league. I’m back in Singapore now.”

They said I’m too expensive for a goalkeeper. Nothing about performance, more about salary issues

Hassan had spent the past two years with Army, but the fact they were relegated last season means he is being squeezed out by the reduced salary cap that comes with being in the second division.

He had previously represented Geylang, Young Lions, Tampines and Warriors in his career prior to his move to the much more competitive Thailand competition.

While disappointed at the turn of events, Hassan could at least console himself with the fact the decision was based on finances, rather than performance.

He isn’t yet sure if another move overseas is an option.

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s difficult for a goalkeeper to play abroad, especially around this region.

“They (Army United) want to cancel my contract. They’re going down to Thai League 2, hence the budget is not as much as they got when Army was in the Thai League.

“So they said I’m too expensive for a goalkeeper. Nothing about performance, more about salary issues.

“But it’s OK for me. Life has to go on. I need to move on. I’m just waiting for them to finalise things for me, including the paperwork."

Hassan reclaimed his position in the Singapore national team from Izwan Mahbud this year and is now first-choice under coach V.Sundramoorthy.

He put in a series of top-notch performances for a Singapore side that crashed out of the Suzuki Cup group stage.

While he is uncertain of his future, he should have plenty of suitors keen to secure his services considering his form.

But he seemed understandably anxious to confirm his next move.

When asked if the new ASEAN quota system being introduced to Thai football could work in his favour, Hassan replied: “I can consider that, but to date there are (no options).

“I can’t take my time. It’s already December.”

Additional reporting by Kritikorn Thanamahamongkhol

Photo: Weixiang Lim/FFT