Stags land perhaps their biggest fish, Izwan Mahbud
Izwan had been linked with moves overseas, including undergoing a week-long trial with Japanese second-division side Matsumoto Yamaga, but he will remain on home shores in 2016.
The decision by the Football Association of Malaysia to kick LionsXII out of Malaysian football from next year onwards left some of Singapore’s biggest footballing names on the market and the Stags have proven the big winners.
Izwan joins the likes of fellow former LionsXII alumni Christopher van Huizen, Izzdin Shafiq, Hafiz Sujad and Firdaus Kasman in linking up with the re-tooled outfit under coach V.Sundramoorthy.
Fazrul Nawaz, who played with LionsXII back in 2013 and finished as the S.League’s leading Singaporean goalscorer with Warriors FC last season, has also come on board.
The Stags finished runners-up to Brunei DPMM in last season’s S.League title race, but must surely rank as the early competition favourites following their excellent transfer work under new chairman Krishna Ramachandra.
Ramachandra told FourFourTwo earlier this month he had hoped Izwan would sign overseas in a move that would have benefited both the player and the Singapore national team.
But he must also be delighted to have secured the services of Izwan, who at just 25 should still be well short of his peak as a goalkeeper.
Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo