Protectors strengthen with Izzdin and Van Huizen, Zulfahmi to Hougang

After laying low since the end of the 2016 S.League season, Home United have come out firing with the signing of two national team players, Izzdin Shafiq and Christopher Van Huizen. 

Izzdin, 25, rejoins his former club having left Bishan Stadium in exchange for the yellow jersey of Tampines Rovers this year but will now return to his former stomping ground to boss the midfield.

With four assists to his name in 31 appearances, Izzdin was a regular starter for the Stags and is likely to form a new-look central midfield with Song Ui-young.

Joining him at Home will be Van Huizen, who has had a tumultuous season in the S.League, following his move from LionsXII to Tampines, where he failed to make an impact under V. Sundramoorthy and was allowed to join Garena Young Lions for the remainder of the season.

izzdin_shahfiq-_s.league.jpg

Izzdin will rejoin Home United next season

In defence, Afiq Yunos is a welcomed addition as he seeks to form a local central defensive partnership with Abdil Qaiyyim. Captain and national team right-back Juma’at Jantan has agreed to a new deal to stay with the club.

Another player reportedly in negotiations with Home is goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, who ended his contract with Premier League of Thailand side Army United. He will take the No. 1 jersey as Hyrulnizam Juma'at crosses over to join the Warriors.

While the big names are beginning to roll into Bishan Stadium, one notable departure is Singapore international midfielder Zulfahmi Arifin. He joins the Hougang revolution and will rival Azhar Sairudin, Fumiya Kogure and M. Anumanthan for a midfield slot.

hassan_sunny_2_0.jpg

Hassan is still open to offers although he is looking to play overseas

Zulfahmi played 17 matches for the Protectors and was often used as a centre-back to add height and his versatility will be a boost for a Hougang team who look to improve from their fourth-placed finish this year.

Warriors’ rebuilding of their team after a disappointing season sees them keep faith in a few seasoned veterans, with Hafiz Osman, Shaiful Esah and Ridhuan Muhamad inking new deals to continue their S.League careers with the Western outfit.

Having already filled up two foreign slots with Japanese centre-back Kento Fukuda and Canadian forward Jordan Webb, Warriors are likely to bring in a striker in place of Jonathan Behe, who has left the S.League to join Sabah FA.

Over at the Tampines training ground, there seems to be little player movement for Akbar Nawas’ team but there are rumours that a string of ex-Stags veterans are returning to the S.League giants’ roster for the upcoming season.