As promised, Farmer Bunnies would begin making their play to become a true contender for Division Two and the secondary national cups, as they recruited their first foreign former youth international in centre forward Liderhan Kadyr
, for a fee of S$5.5 million from Italian sellers Crociati Giallo Blu.
The 32 year-old Number Ten from Kazakhstan may now be twelve years from his substitute appearance against Egypt, but the fire in his powerful frame has not dimmed at all; leaving his original club side Snow leopards only when he approached 27, he has since journeyed to Norway, Italy and Austria, racking up a total of 137 career goals.
His consistency in scoring has earned him two scoring titles, as well as a number of admirers, amongst of whom FC Gigugägu of the Swiss fifth division were the closest from prising him away from the Buns. Kakolan Kunkut FC (Finnish Div 4) and RealBenati (Italian Div 5) also made official bids, but did not sustain Kadyr's interest.
Bunnies head coach Sikong Darong
hailed Kadyr as one of the best true strikers realistically available. "He's a one-man battering ram if you get close, and a very underrated passer if you stand off. Panzarino should find him a marvel to play alongside."
While Kadyr's age suggests that he might not displace Panzarino as top dog for long, his arrival has reportedly concerned Daniel Nguyen
in particular, with some sources reporting the 23 year-old questioning his long-term future with the club.
Darong urged his players to welcome competition, without naming names, and then took the opportunity to congratulate fullback Wong Ting Yew
for earning his maiden national cap, against Peru last Friday.
"There's no room for infighting at this club - we need all the quality we can muster, if we are to achieve glory." he declared. "Wong getting a call-up to the Lions represents the standards we should be living up to, a team of international-level players!"