Adam Swandi to go for trials with Albirex Japan
Earlier this year, Adam Swandi became the first Singaporean to play for Japanese side Albirex Niigata in the Singapore Premier League.
The 22-year-old midfielder will soon go a step closer towards realising his target of playing in the J-League.
Adam will be heading for trials with Albirex's parent club in Niigata, Japan, from Sept 2-10. They are currently playing in the second-tier J2 League.
Albirex (Singapore) general manager Koh Mui Tee was pleased that Adam will be given an opportunity to impress their parent club.
He told The New Paper: "It has always been Albirex (Singapore)'s dream to have a Singaporean playing in the J-League.
"Thailand's best players play in the J-League. We want our best players to go there too."
Koh was referring to Chanathip Songkrasin (Consadole Sapporo), Teerasil Dangda (Sanfreece Hiroshima), Theerathon Bunmathan (Vissel Kobe), Jakkit Wachpirom (FC Tokyo Under-23) and Chaowat Veerachat (Cerezo Osaka Under-23).
Except for Jakkit and Chaowat, the other Thais are playing in the top-tier J1 League, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Andres Iniesta (Vissel) and Fernando Torres (Sagan Tosu).
Since joining Albirex this season, Adam has played a role in their third consecutive league title win, which was secured last month with six games to spare.
For the past three years, Albirex (Singapore) have been sending their players for trials with their parent club.
Besides Adam, midfielder Hiroyoshi Kamata will also be given a chance this year.
Last year, defender Yasutaga Yanagi and midfielder Shuto Inaba were given opportunities to impress selectors back home. The 1.87m-tall Yanagi did well enough to earn a contract.
In 2016, Albirex (Singapore) recommended S-League Player of the Year Atsushi Kawata, who also earned a spot with the parent club. Yanagi and Kawata are still on the club's roster.
Adam could not be contacted for comment yesterday. It won't be his first time in Niigata, however. He had a one-week training stint with the club in 2012 and spent four weeks there while he was with the Singapore Sports School.
If Adam secures a contract in Japan, he will be the second Singaporean to do so after Anders Aplin, who is on loan from Geylang International to J2 leaders Matsumoto Yamaga.
- TAN KIM HAN