Chan Of A Lifetime
The day has arrived - Chicken Wings youth wunderkind Chan Ze Han
, looking just a little flustered, was escorted by a large entourage consisting of both professional bodyguards and his new colleagues, from the academy to his new home at The Cooking Pot. To some, this might have seemed overblown, but those in the loop knew better: if anything, this was downplaying the seventeen year-old's potential.
Grilled were certainly not taking any chances, and reportedly had offered Chan a five-year professional contract, barely a year into his youth career. This came into effect at eleven a.m. today, at the very instant of his eligibility, and Chan would put any lingering doubts to rest with his confimation signing ceremony, clad in the storied Number Eleven jersey.
"I haven't felt such anticipation since our last cup final." Birds semi-retired legend Tian Yonghang
, who made a point of handing Moey his shirt, gushed. "Mohd Safri might not like to hear this, but I don't think there's any doubt that Chan is the
top talent that the Wings have ever produced."
Chan will however not make his pro debut in the league, as a precaution after his tweaked knee, and is now scheduled to be unveiled in Iceland, against besta lið. There has long been speculation about where Chan will be deployed with the senior side, to which Djan Bacelar
would answer conclusively.
"After much - ok, not so much - consideration, Chan will start out as a striker." he said. "In the end, it wasn't much of a choice. This would allow Chan to gain as much competitive experience as possible, while not affecting the team too much, since we frankly have a surfeit of capable midfielders, and not enough finishers."
Asked as to whether Grilled had ever considered cashing in, Bacelar's replay was an emphatic no. "Chan is the definition of a priceless player - you simply can't buy the total package. Okay, maybe you can
purchase the raw talent; Chemistry's Chris Bao went for S$5 million, and if we look further afield, the Netherlands' Pepijn Jagtmans raked in over S$22 million, but they wouldn't have the connection with us that Chan has."
"We're going to offer him everything - the best development plan, a realistic springboard to all local honours, and above all, a chance to immortalize himself in the club's history."
Youth fever has infected Grilled's associate clubs too, with the Rancher Rabbits keen to talk up their defensive unit. "Syamsul Bahri Hamiz Izzaq can start for a good Division Four club already, and in Lim Jing Boon, Sridhar Prabhu and Lee Wan Lai, we have some excellent defenders. In another time, we would have been glad to keep them all."
Over in Brunei, Grilled International are undergoing something of a buzz of their own, with big centreback Kamil bin Hj Cucu already attracting plenty of offers, days from leaving the Busy Bees. Like the Rabbits, the Bees have a ready goalkeeping star in Luo Shangxuan - though Luo is just fifteen years of age - and potential all around in Safari bin Hj Jali, Wang Hanxuan and Sazwan bin Hj Muhd Salleh, to name but a few.