Ai To Za
Scouting and recruitment has only gained a sense of urgency at the Farmer Bunnies, what with it being clear that the squad is up for a near-complete overhaul, and Dalibor Kostadinović
secured the services of Kyrgyzstan's Aitykul Zaripbekov
towards this end today. Just nineteen, Zaripbekov has already been capped eight times for his national youth team, beginning with a debut against the Philippines in his first year of eligibility.
Zaripbekov was not entirely a stranger to Singapore, having just captained U-20 Kyrgyzstan against Singapore's equivalent at STADION NESEBAR a few weeks ago. He lost that 0-2, with the debuting Li De Rong and Neo Pin Kian scoring late for the Young Lions, but certainly caught the attention of the Buns' Yip De Da in the stands. Yip would duly be alerted as Zaripbekov's club then - Switzerland's RedBull Uster - shifted him to Argentinean VI.866 side Alive [_] FC, and while Bunnies lost out then, they were determined to make their move when his new club announced that he was available. Farmer Bunnies eventually signed him for approximately S$6.5 million, over a bid by Italian sixth divisioners IgorOne6498.
As his Number Seven shirt in national colours suggests, Zaripbekov is quite at home careening down the wings too, and his pure pace has not often been questioned. Kostadinović sees his future as being a successor to Tham and Kwek, clearly no short order given that those two have made well over six hundred starts, won 138 national caps, and six club POTY awards between them.
"It's a matter of how high Aitykul wants to go, the way I see it." the head coach beamed. "We are also assembling quite a collection of up-and-coming talent, Richard Agyei
and Sunil Patel
included, if I do say so myself. This should leave the team in good shape for the future."