28 January 2015
The Eagle Has Flown

Hours after their team had secured the Emerald Challenger Cup, Grilled's fans had more to celebrate, as Djan Bacelar unveiled a new S$5.7 million star signing - 24 year-old former Albanian youth international Rinor Isufi.

The sharp-featured forward has been hailed as a complete player by many of his peers, packing a blazing-fast 4.6 second forty-yard dash despite also being taller than most. With a proven scoring record of near a century of professional goals, including no less than eleven hat-tricks, Isufi would have been a dream signing for any side, had it not been for his famously volatile character.

Handpicked for his national U-20 side, Isufi did acceptably with his sole international goal coming as the winner in a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago. His club history has however been more chequered, with many Cap Magde supporters still unhappy at how he forced an exit after a falling out with teammates.

His ambitions might have had something to do with that too, with his agent happening to have lined up a spot at Rome-based BimboteamRoma several divisions up, but his stay there did not last long either, and barely a full season later, Isufi had hopped on to Israeli side hakoah jaljulia.

There, he helped jaljulia to a Division Six title, but new Turkish head coach Mert Berkay Vehip's philosophy was not to his taste, and Isufi hit the road again. Polish club Kislotrans were willing to fork out S$4.8 million for the wayward-yet-undeniably talented soul, and they duly won their league too, with Isufi second in the goalscoring charts behind Danish teammate Leon Blach.

This led to a disagreement with his employers over the matter of bonuses, and shortly after, Isufi was in the market for a new club once more. Bacelar acknowledged that his newest recruit drove a hard bargain, but was also confident that the unsettled genius would finally set down roots.

"Rinor struck me as simply wanting to be at a place where his skills would be appreciated, and from what I could see, he was deeply convinced that we were able to offer that." the head coach said. "It's not like there's much higher than the top division of a country, after all, though he'll still have to prove himself first."

Isufi comes with an established nickname - "The Eagle" - which has followed him through his various clubs, and quite appropriately, seeing as how he swoops in on goal. Further, he has already made his mark on Grilled tradition before his arrival, with one of the non-negotiable conditions he proposed being the right to his favoured Number Nine jersey.

This would have been a problem, seeing that the Birds had an unspoken rule for active players never to change their shirt numbers, but in this case the current holder Che Harun was only too willing to oblige. "It would be the right thing to do." the 39 year-old reserve, who will switch to No. 49, declared. "I was planning to retire soon, anyway. Isufi will only add to the history behind the number."

Fans should not expect to see the Eagle feature in the league for the time being, however, with Bacelar ranking him behind Grilled's local trio for now. He has however been pencilled in for a Tuesday friendly debut against Tirane Tigers in his homeland, where he is currently on leave after being deregistered by Kislotrans.

    Home Comforts
    A Syrian Expedition
    Plugged In The Pug
    Humble Pie
    The Eagle Has Flown
    Too Hot To Handle
    The Winning Feeling
    A Special Reversal
    All Open Again
    Junior Steps Up
2016-08-01 00:37:41
anonymous: Thanks for the special mention :) I would just like to expre...
2015-08-17 18:50:02
anonymous: excellent read as always!- Yjorn
2015-06-13 03:08:41
anonymous: Rasha say
2014-12-14 16:56:39
gilbertlim: well, it seemed like that.
2014-12-12 18:26:33
anonymous: I didn't play a 4-5-2
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