Safuwan's adventure begins
National defender Safuwan Baharudin left for Australia on Wednesday as he kicks off his first attempt to play professional football for a foreign team.
It is understood that the 23-year-old LionsXII centre back (left) will be attending trials with A-League side Melbourne City. He will be aiming to impress coach John van't Schip in a 12-day training camp in Abu Dhabi after departing from Australia yesterday.
The Heart, who are currently sixth out of 10 teams in the A.League as the competition enters a hiatus for the Asian Cup, will play two friendly matches, including Al-Jazira on Sunday.
Melbourne City have four imports - former Chelsea winger Damien Duff, former West Brom midfielder Robert Koren, Argentine midfielder Jonatan Germano and Dutch defender Rob Wielaert.
This means the club have an extra foreign player spot to fill and Safuwan will want to capitalise on the fact that the squad are light on defenders.
Former Pahang coach Ron Smith is also said to be with the club in a technical capacity and would have had observed the 1.81-metre defensive lynchpin up close when the stylish footballer starred for the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League from 2012 to 2014.
Smith would have had the chance to talk to van't Schip about Safuwan's strength on the ball, his good reading of the game, pace, fine tackling skills and ability to score goals.
While Safuwan declined to comment about his latest move, in an earlier interview with The New Paper, he said: "There's no more holding back now. If an A-League team want me, then it's a 100 per cent 'yes' from me."