Former Hougang United captain Shariff Samat is set for a sensational return to the Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League after six months in the wilderness. In his time out of Singapore’s premier football competition, Shariff donned the colours of Admiralty SC, a National Football League (NFL) side with “mouth of the north” R Vengadasalam the team manager.
Speaking to aXrosstheline.com, Venga shared that he would be happy to see Shariff returning to where he belongs.
“Shariff is a very good player and I am shocked that no one picked him up for this year,” he said. “When Tampines Rovers came knocking, I released his Local Transfer Certificate (LTC) immediately. “He has our blessings, there’s no doubt about that,” Venga said.
Shariff has been in the news for the wrong reasons in the past, but his performances on the pitch has seen fans calling for his return. It is understood that Hougang United fans even tried convincing the club’s management to bring their inspirational captain back, but their efforts were in vain.
The only thing that stands between Shariff and a return to the S-League is the much criticised mandatory beep test, which the player will undergo on 14 June. Only when he clears level 13-1 of the test, will he be registered for the defending S-League Champions. The former Young Lions, Sembawang Rangers, Home United and Hougang defender can fit perfectly into a Tampines side looking to win their second straight S-League title.
Head coach Steven Tan played down the hype surrounding Shariff’s return. “He has to clear the beep test, and I certainly hope that he can do it. After that, then we can talk about his return,” he said.
The 2007 S-League Young Player of the year is a tough tackling centre back who is known for his no nonsense displays. However, things had not been smooth sailing for the 28-year old defender as observers prefer to judge him due to his temperament.
Former Hougang United head coach Aide Iskandar shared his decision to give Shariff the arm band during the duo’s time at Hougang.
“I don’t think it is difficult managing Shariff. He is someone who responds well to advises. When something is wrong, I will speak to him privately and he will respond on the pitch”
“Every time he plays, he gives me 9/10 performances,” Aide added.