Football: Hariss home but eyes Spain return

Singapore national vice-captain Hariss Harun is already feeling right at Home. But he is determined to play at a higher level in Spain.
Singapore national vice-captain Hariss Harun is already feeling right at Home. But he is determined to play at a higher level in Spain.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Singapore national vice-captain Hariss Harun is already feeling right at Home. But he is determined to play at a higher level in Spain.
Singapore national vice-captain Hariss Harun is already feeling right at Home. But he is determined to play at a higher level in Spain.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Singapore national vice-captain Hariss Harun is already feeling right at Home. But he is determined to play at a higher level in Spain.
Singapore national vice-captain Hariss Harun is already feeling right at Home. But he is determined to play at a higher level in Spain.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

He wants good short run in S-League to set himself up for stint at third-tier L'Hospitalet

Despite having to suddenly return to the S-League, Hariss Harun still harbours hopes of proving himself in Spain.

While the Singapore national midfielder was disappointed that his loan move to Spanish third-division club Centre d'Esports L'Hospitalet eventually did not materialise, he said he is determined to get himself to the best shape in order to return to Spain in June.

The Lions vice-captain put pen to paper yesterday on a short-term loan deal with Home United and will play for the Bishan-based club at least until June, when his parent club Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) will be hoping to secure the necessary permits and send him back to L'Hospitalet.

The 26-year-old said: "I cannot let the disappointment get the better of me. I don't want to let this weigh me down. I'm just looking forward to June, I'm going to give my best to train to prepare me for June.

"It's unfortunate that the move to Spain didn't materialise. But it is beyond my control and it's beyond the club's control. I believe (JDT) had tried their best to try to put me there. Hopefully in June, ideally, JDT could get me back to Spain again for the new season. We'll see when the time comes.

"I hope to go back (to Spain) to test myself again. It's a higher level and standard of football there and I want to play at that level."

Instead of being unsettled with the uncertainty of where he would be playing, Hariss is relieved to be able to finally get back to competitive football again.

His last competitive match was at the Asean Football Federation Championship last November.

Hariss said: "The worrying part is out of the way for now. I can now focus a lot more on football.

BACK IN ACTION

I made the decision to come back to the S-League because I need to play games, and I haven't been playing games for quite some time.

HARISS HARUN, whose last competitive game was back in November for the Lions in the AFF Championship group stage.

"I made the decision to come back to the S-League because I need to play games, and I haven't been playing games for quite some time.

"At this point of time, the S-League offers me that and I'm glad that JDT managed to work out something with Home United.

"Home are doing well in the league, they play a good brand of football, they have AFC Cup competition, so I hope to help the team in the best way I can."

Hariss had originally secured a one-year loan to play at L'Hospitalet and left on Feb 23. But in a sudden twist of events on Thursday, JDT announced that he will play for Home instead, owing to an administrative hiccup concerning a tax liability.

Hariss could not return to JDT as the club had filled their four-player foreign import quota.

His failed Spanish move turned out to be Home's gain. The 2010 S-League Young Player of the Year could feature for the Protectors as soon as next Tuesday, in their AFC Cup clash against Vietnamese outfit Than Quang Ninh at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Protectors' coach Aidil Sharin said: "His arrival gives an extra boost to the team, especially since we want to challenge for the title this year. We have two leaders (Juma'at Jantan and Hassan Sunny) in the team and he will be the third.

"We're fortunate to have him with us. Now that other teams know that Hariss is on our side, it gives us a mental and psychological edge over them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'Hariss home but eyes Spain return'. Print Edition | Subscribe