A Tale of Three Trainees
Three 17 year-old youngsters with similar profiles, each from one of the Grilled clubs, went on the market recently, with differing outcomes.
Grilled International's Hassan bin Hj Muhd Nurhikman would be hired by Austrian Division Six side blackrose for S$80000, after a running battle against their Finnish equivalent in Taksipojat. Bored @ work FC (Spanish Division Seven) had expressed some interest too, but did not follow up on it.
Hassan had been known as a competent modern-style central defender in his time with the Busy Bees, where he could often be found carrying the ball over the halfway line. "Hassan's not the type to hack it away needlessly." scout Adinath Pant said. "But he has the composure to know to do so if required."
The Farmer Bunnies' Baharudin Ezrain Shamsudin also managed a move, on a free transfer to Spanish Division Seven team CD New United, with S-Class team (Vietnamese Division Four) his other option. The newly-founded club would also recruit Cedrik Werdohl and Marc Nicks to round out their first three signings, on head coach Ignacio Ortiz's instructions.
Although Baharudin's preferred position is winger, he had garnered most of his playing experience at fullback, on the recommendation of his coaches. "Attacking won't be an issue for him - tactical discipline, however, is." trainer Thomas Mok explained. "We were hoping that he would build a firm foundation, which it seems he has."
The big surprise came with Grilled Birds' Png Kang Chun, who had been rated as a talent with remarkably similar tendencies as Baharudin - down to wearing the same Number Seven shirt - if only better. Excellent all over the pitch, Png had been billed as one of the best graduates from the Chicken Wings in the past year, which made his failure to attract a solid offer puzzling indeed.
Grilled head coach Hovaness Noubaryan
dismissed it as an aberration. "There are no doubts over Png's skills. He's easily in the top ten percent of his batch, and will be an asset to just about any club. Had we not been so stocked with midfielders, we might well have scooped him up for the senior squad ourselves."