Football: Singapore's Safuwan Baharudin signs for A-League side Melbourne City FC

Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin at a recent 10-day trial with Melbourne City FC. -- PHOTO: FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin at a recent 10-day trial with Melbourne City FC. -- PHOTO: FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin in action during a friendly between Singapore and Cambodia ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup in November 2014. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin in action during a friendly between Singapore and Cambodia ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup in November 2014. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER
Lions defender Safuwan Baharudin has signed for A-League side Melbourne City FC for the remainder of the 2014/15 season. -- PHOTO: MELBOURNE CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
Lions defender Safuwan Baharudin has signed for A-League side Melbourne City FC for the remainder of the 2014/15 season. -- PHOTO: MELBOURNE CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
Singapore national footballer Safuwan Baharudin became the first male athlete to win the Straits Times Athlete of the Year award on Feb 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Singapore national footballer Safuwan Baharudin became the first male athlete to win the Straits Times Athlete of the Year award on Feb 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Lions defender Safuwan Baharudin has signed for A-League side Melbourne City FC for the remainder of the 2014/15 season.

Safuwan, who had been contracted to the LionsXII, attended the club's training camp in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. It was part of a development opportunity by the Football Association of Singapore.

Safuwan, 23, impressed in his start against Al Jazira where he performed well against Montenegro international and former Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic. He also featured as a substitute in the side's 1-1 draw with Ukrainian Premier League outfit FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van't Schip said the versatile defender, who can play in the centre, fullback or even in midfield, would provide his squad with further depth in defence in the second half of the season.

"Safuwan is a mobile defender who is calm and composed on the ball and makes quick and good decisions," van't Schip said.

"He impressed the coaching staff while playing and training with us in Abu Dhabi and we believe he will fit in with our players and complement our style."

Safuwan, the reigning Straits Times Athlete of the Year, said he was delighted to be joining Melbourne City for the rest of the current A-League season.

"When this opportunity came, I told myself that I had to go all out because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that may never come again," he said.

"I worked very hard, and I really enjoyed training with the team in Abu Dhabi and got along well with the other players. I am very happy that the coaches were happy with what they saw.

"I am looking forward to doing my best for the Club and as an ambassador of Singapore. I want to make my parents and family proud of me."

Safuwan fills Melbourne City FC's final vacant and fifth foreign position, with Jonatan Germano, Damien Duff, Robert Koren and Rob Wielaert occupying the other spots.