Dash Of Darong
While the mood at The Cooking Pot remains funereal, the situation over at Farmer Bunnies was decidedly more upbeat, as Elias van Dal
unveiled the Buns' first player with an international pedigree - former Joker 9 and Twenty2 FC star Sikong Darong
The 35 year-old Darong had few equals in his time as a libero locally, and had captained Twenty2 FC when they were in the S-League, having spent nine full seasons with the Serangoon giants. No stranger to the top flight, he was a regular in Joker 9's last stint in the S-League whilst representing Singapore in U-20 competition, debuting as an eighteen year-old against Serbia in the Youth World Cup qualifiers.
After five seasons with Spanish club nastic12, the last of which saw them win promotion to the third division, Sikong was ready to return home. Despite a host of firm offers from Italy, of whom Iusentus, Limbara calcio and A. C. Milan 1899 were the most persistent, in addition to attention from chuta chuta (Brazilian Division Five), Traktor Glooria (Swiss Division Three), PursuitOfHappyness (Polish Division Seven) and FC STRAINZ (Italian Division Eight), van Dal managed to persuade him to see out his career with the Bunnies.
"The idea of guiding a young side in need of direction appealed to Sikong greatly." Elias van Dal
revealed. "We have a dozen local defensive talents who would benefit greatly from his vast expertise, which I'm sure he would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. If all goes well, we can see Sikong continue on in a specialist coaching capacity with the club, if he so desires."
van Dal admitted that the S$864000 paid out to nastic12 was possibly on the high end, but stressed that it was due to the high demand for Sikong Darong
's services. "You very much get what you pay for. Sikong represents a terrific fit for our program, and we weren't about to let that slip to save a few hundred thousand bucks."