Adam Swandi relishing Albirex stint
Singapore midfielder believes he can still improve after a creditable start with the Japanese club
Midfielder Adam Swandi believes he has gained another important step in his footballing journey since joining Albirex Niigata this season.
The 22-year-old, who became the first Singaporean to play for the Japanese club in the Singapore Premier League under this season's revised rules, has continued from where he left off with Home United.
Last term, he racked up seven goals and two assists in over 30 appearances for the Protectors.
|ALBIREX NIIGATA||TAMPINES ROVERS|
Since joining the White Swans, he has managed two goals and five assists in nine league appearances with the back-to-back quadruple champions.
However, Adam believes he still has room for improvement.
He said: "I could've done better, there were some key chances I didn't convert, some key passes that I missed.
"The statistics are not good enough I think. At the start of the season, my target was 10 goals, so I still have a long way."
Albirex coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga believes Adam's progress can be measured in intangible terms.
He said: "We knew him from last year, and we knew that when he has the ball, he can do it.
"But, since he came here, he has become a more intelligent player by learning what to do without the ball, which is very important."
The work ethic displayed by the Japanese has also helped to raise his game. Said Adam: "The Japanese are really hardworking and they are never satisfied with themselves.
"Most of the players here are young, and every time we train, there is a healthy competition to want to outdo each other."
Besides the work ethic, the footballing environment has also helped Adam flourish. He said: "Over here, my coaches encourage me to take risks; like if I have a chance to shoot, they encourage me to take a shot.
"If I have a chance to dribble, it doesn't matter if I lose the ball, because the mentality here is that we will defend together."
Despite being with Albirex for only six months, Adam believes he has learnt a lot with a largely Under-23 outfit who have won all 15 of their SPL matches.
The White Swans will take a major step towards retaining the title if they beat closest challengers Tampines Rovers at the Jurong East Stadium tomorrow.
Said Adam: "Tampines have given us pretty good fights in the past, both in the Community Shield and the last game at Our Tampines Hub (where Albirex won 4-3).
"We had to work our socks off and they're a really good team. We're aiming for three points but it's not going to be easy."
- Young Lions v Hougang Utd (5.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
- Home United v Balestier Khalsa (5.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
- Geylang International v Warriors FC (5.30pm, Bedok Stadium)