PRIMAVERA In For Taib
Much-lauded Chicken Wings custodian Taib Sadiq Hussain will go to Russian third divisioners "PRIMAVERA" on a S$402000 deal, in a drawn-out transfer saga that involved half a dozen serious suitors. An early developer, the 1.83m tall teenager had been acknowledged by pundits as far too good to linger in the youth leagues, and he was reportedly on international scouts' radar long before he attained professional eligibility last week.
"Quite a few goalkeepers get into the position only as a second choice, but not Taib." Wings chief scout Tham Beng Li said. "He was all about shot-stopping from day one." Indeed, photos of his locker show it covered with posters of Casillas, Schmeichel and Gianluigi Buffon, that last of whom Taib had never hidden being his role model.
Taib's fundamentals were such that he took over from Prakash Krupakaran immediately upon joining the Wings, who promptly won their next ten matches, and went thirteen unbeaten before finally losing 2-3 to Stella di Mare. Four-time Malaysian Challenger Cup winners HC Fierce Rabbits were rumoured to have had an unofficial arrangement with the youngster, and a move up north to Kuala Lumpur seemed imminent.
Things got complicated as GwiazdyGwiazdeczki (Polish Division Seven) and Arsenal DaSh (Bulgarian Division Four) made their intentions public, before they were joined by Schlüpferstürmer (German Division Seven) and Italian former Coppa Mediterraneo winners Metauros FC. After a frantic to-and-fro yesterday, and despite late interest from FC Titans Satu Mare (Romanian Division Six) and FC Planlos Kickers 05 (German Division Seven), club sources revealed that it was between the Rabbits and Schlüpferstürmer.
There would be more drama as Moldovian Division Four leaders Sporting Daygum made an appeal, as the Rabbits' and Schlüpferstürmer's resolve waned. Taib's agent seemed to have lost the plot, as the various clubs withdrew their offers until only Sporting Daygum and Polish sixth division side Kwazar Bogoria remained - only for "PRIMAVERA" to leap into the fray.
For Taib and his advisors, it became a no-brainer. "PRIMAVERA are known for nuturing goalkeepers, and have Russian international Vladimir Pilip on their books, and that after Oleg Olkov got moved on last season. Taib can't hope to be mentored by much better." Tham continued. "Barring accidents, he should become one of Singapore's top keepers before he's done."