Sze Ze In Turkey
Last gasp saloon for a bunch of young hopefuls saw only the Birds' Wong Sze Ze win a ticket out of town, after he convinced Turkish VI.535 outfit FENERBAHÇESK61 to take him on a free transfer. It wasn't as if he didn't deserve it, to be sure, with the 17 year-old defensive midfielder recognized as one of the Wings' top prospects, in his final season at U-20 level.
Still, it was nowhere near easy for Wong to get a contract. He would spend three whole weeks sending out his package to a host of international clubs, at the slightest hint of interest. Despite his obvious strengths - quite literally, in his case - there would be no firm bites, until Italian seventh divisioners Ciuccafa FC had their Chilean head coach Diego Solé make a tentative offer. That invited a counterbid from FENERBAHÇESK61, which Wong accepted after some consideration.
Grilled scout Lim Hock Puay, who had convinced Wong to join the Chicken Wings after being heavily recruited out of high school, felt that the market was simply too unforgiving nowadays. "He would be a shoo-in, for previous generations." Lim asserted. "I'm not sure whether it's due to a decline in the number of professional clubs, or something in the air, or whatever."
In any case, this would be the end of the road for Wong's youth buddies Tong Kuan Xin, Tan Chin Tze, Muhamad Khalid Bakri Amar and Dakota Gan, whose provisional contracts ran out today. The same went for the Buns' former wonderkid Alexander Martin, Pang Ah Seng, Aravinda Asuri and Cordarius Ngo; and Grilled International's Ooi Chee Hao and Rendy Sumargo.