The golden boy of the Chicken Wings, Mohd Safri was very soon feted as a future first-teamer, achieving an unheard-of ten-star rating.
While he would have a new attack built around him, Mohd Safri would find things tougher in the pro ranks, failing to score in his friendly debut. Earning a Young Player of the Season award amidst a tough field and winning an U-20 cap at the tender age of 18 years and 78 days boded well for Mohd Safri, though.
Mohd Safri repeated the trick by becoming Grilled's youngest ever Player of the Season the following campaign, and after a slightly slow start to his national career began to distinguish himself as one of the standouts in Singapore's predicted Golden Generation, aided by a late winner against Thailand.
A senior callup was a long time in coming, however, and while Mohd Safri racked up a couple of domestic cups during his wait, he would reprise Quah Han Kok's fate in not getting the nod until 31 years of age - but what an introduction it would be, as he became one of the handful of players who would manage a hat-trick on their international debut.