Football: Fareez hopes to impress during stint with Yamaga

Geylang International's Fareez Farhan (right, fighting for the ball with Hougang United's Afiq Noor) scored nine goals in the Singapore Premier League last year. ST FILE PHOTO
Geylang International's Fareez Farhan (right, fighting for the ball with Hougang United's Afiq Noor) scored nine goals in the Singapore Premier League last year. ST FILE PHOTO

Fareez Farhan made his S-League debut as a 16-year-old in 2011, but it took him almost a decade to establish himself.

Last year, the Geylang International forward scored nine goals in the Singapore Premier League and added two more in the Singapore Cup to reach double figures for the first time in his career.

His stock rose further when he made his national team debut in September, coming on as a substitute in the World Cup qualifying 2-1 win over Palestine.

Another reward beckons after Geylang selected Fareez for a 10-day training stint with J2 League side Matsumoto Yamaga.

The two clubs have a memorandum of understanding and a common sponsor Epson, which Geylang chief executive Eugene Lim thanked for making the stint happen.

Fareez, who left for Japan yesterday, thanked his club for the "rare opportunity" and added: "I have to cherish the moment and learn as much as I can, and use what I learn to try and help Geylang win the title.

"I had a difficult start last year. I was without a club before coach Noor Ali gave me a chance. With a lot of hard work and his good guidance, I was able to enjoy my football and contribute many goals."

Geylang, since their partnership with Yamaga in 2016, have sent players like Shawal Anuar, Gabriel Quak and Anders Aplin to Japan.

Yamaga's fitness coach Shibata Takanori is in Singapore for a month to help the club with their pre-season preparations.

This is not Fareez's first overseas stint. He spent six weeks with Croatia's Dinamo Zagreb in 2011 and attended a trial at Thailand's Chainat Hornbill last year.

The 25-year-old still hopes to ply his trade abroad one day.

"It is important to play in a strong overseas team or league to improve, like what Hariss Harun has done (at Malaysia's Johor Darul Takzim)," he said. "With Yamaga, I'm not going to focus on impressing the coaches. I just have to let my feet and football do the talking.

"I will do my best at training, and who knows what will happen?"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2020, with the headline 'Fareez hopes to impress during stint with Yamaga'. Print Edition | Subscribe