Raab: New signing Hafiz must prove his worth
Hafiz Abu Sujad is a Stag again.
The versatile Singapore international, who joined Thai side Big Bang Chula United in January, was left in limbo when the club withdrew from the Thai league at the end of April.
The 26-year-old, who can play as a left back or left winger, made just seven appearances for the second-tier outfit in the four months he was with them.
He then returned to Singapore to look for a club. Last week, his former club Tampines Rovers handed him a lifeline when they offered him a contract until the end of this season.
The Stags, lying second in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League, play fourth-placed Warriors FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium tomorrow.
"It was something new for me, to experience a different culture and style of play in Thailand, so I was really excited," said Hafiz of his Thai stint.
"(But) I really missed home. When I came back, it felt good (to see) my friends and family and train with people that are close to me, like my teammates in the national team.
"Tampines allowed me to go to Thailand and were very open to take me back (when it didn't work out), and I'm very appreciative of it.
"I want to help them win games, and keep the momentum going."
Hafiz scored two goals in 20 appearances for Tampines last season, but he will have to prove his worth to new Tampines coach Juergen Raab.
"I have not seen him play for Tampines in the past," said the 58-year-old German, who joined the club after Hafiz left for Thailand.
"I only know that he went to Thailand and that shows he has potential.
"But, as a coach, I have to make my own judgment about him."
Tomorrow's game against the Warriors might have come too soon for Hafiz to get back into the starting line-up.
"We do not have many choices for the left-wing position - we have been using Yasir (Hanapi) even though he is more of a central player," said Raab.
"Hafiz is still new (to me) and I am not the type of coach to start a player immediately. I want to see more (of him) in training first."