Tampines to sign A-League goalkeeper

Recently released Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Justin Pasfield is set to sign for Tampines Rovers, filling in for the injured Hyrulnizam Juma'at.

FourFourTwo had previously reported on the goalkeeping vacancy at Tampines, and it appears Pasfield is the man the Stags have picked as he embarks on his first overseas stint in Singapore on a reported six-month deal.

The 28-year-old Australian replaces injured first-choice Hyrulnizam, who will be on the sidelines for a few months after undergoing an operation to remove a lump on his back.

Released from the Mariners following the conclusion of the recent A-League campaign, the former Australian Under-23 custodian brings a wealth of experience spanning over a decade at various top Australian clubs.

While Pasfield is not the first Australian player to turn out in the Singapore professional league, he will be the first to feature in the republic since the successful launch of the current Australian top-flight in 2005.

Pasfield is put through his paces at Clementi Stadium on Wednesday evening. Photo: Zee Ko

Previous notable Australian players who have graced at various football grounds around Singapore included 1998 Golden Boot winner Stuart Young, Andre Gumprecht and Brandon Sentelab – all of whom starred in Singapore before going on to feature prominently in the A-League.

Australian-born New Zealand centre-back Andrew Durante also turned out for Balestier Khalsa in 2004 before joining Newcastle Jets and then Wellington Phoenix.

This was an observation that was not lost on Pasfield’s new club colleague Aleksandar Duric, who had previously plied his trade in the old National Soccer League before making his mark in the S.League.

Speaking to FourFourTwo after training, the 43-year-old striker was pleased to see the experienced goalkeeper embark on his Asian journey with the five-time Singapore champions.

“One of my friends (former Geylang International midfielder Wayne O’Sullivan) whom I had played with before was his (assistant) coach (at the Mariners),” he said.

“With Ah Lau (Hyrulnizam) out for some time, it is good to have this kind of goalkeeper who can give us some stability at the back.”

Duric believes should Pasfield make an immediate impression with Tampines, it could pave the way for a new wave of A-League players looking to follow in his footsteps in the near future.

“The A-League is of a much higher standard than the S.League, but to see their players come here means they respect our league and believe it is of a good quality for them to come and play,” the former Singapore international said.

“I hope we can see more of this kind of quality players coming to play in our league.”

Subject to medical and fitness tests, Pasfield could be in line to don the Tampines jersey for the first time when his new club play Geylang at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday, 6 June.

Main Photo Credit: Kevin Airs/www.words-and-pix.com