The Swan Army: When a Singaporean Had A Japanese Dream

A pioneer is an individual who is one of the first few to do something and paves the way for the next generations to continue.

In more ways than one, Adam Swandi was a pioneer for all Singaporeans back in 2018 when he played for Albirex Niigata Singapore. It was a bold step to join the Japanese club whose structure was firmly centred in the Japanese way of football. Adam was no stranger to playing with foreign players. After all, he had a 2-year stint with France club FC Metz under-19, back in 2013-2014, and was the only Singaporean there.

Adam made his debut for the White Swans in the 11th Singapore Community Shield against Tampines Rovers. He came on for winger, Ryujiro Yamanaka, in the 52nd minute. As he stepped onto the pitch, a huge roar could be heard from the Albirex faithful, more evidently by the Singaporeans among them.

It was a joy as we finally saw one of our own in the orange kit and was not long before Adam made us even happier.

In the 58th minute his header, from a Kenya Takahashi corner, was handled by Tampines Rover forward Jorden Webb and a penalty was thus awarded for the White Swans. The penalty was converted by diminutive forward Taku Morinaga and the White Swans eventually won 2-1. The victory handed Adam Swandi his very first winners medal and trophy in his pro career. But it would not be his last

Adam would go on to have a wonderful season playing in 26 games, where he banged in 5 goals and registered 6 assists across all competitions. His amazing displays earned him the nickname Adam SWANdi-san The Flying Swan, by the Albirex fans. Adam ended the season as a Treble winner and also etched his name in history as he was part of the Invincibles side that clinched the Singapore Community Shield, Singapore Premier League and  Singapore FA Cup (all without tasting defeat). Adam’s high-flying season ended with further accolades as he was declared with individual awards – he received the 2018 Young Player of The Year and was named in the FansXI Team of the Year.

The shine of Adam Swandi at Albirex Niigata Singapore was seen as far as Japan. Adam’s performances earned him the opportunity to join Albirex Niigata Japan for week-long training sessions between 3rd – 9th Sep 2018.

 These are comments that Adam Swandi provided Albirex Niigata (S) before his training stint:

“I have been in Niigata twice in the past, both time I joined Albirex Niigata’s training. I clearly remember the ‘Real’ professional players’ performance and behaviour. I thought that I wanted to be such player. This time, Niigata allowed me to join their training. I am grateful to both club Albirex Niigata and Singapore. Albirex Sports Development Fund and existence of Albirex Singapore are very positive not only for myself but also for Singapore Football.”

Unfortunately, the love story ended after the end of 2018 as it was announced on Albirex Niigata (S)’s website that Adam Swandi would be leaving the club. He would return to Home United (currently Lion City Sailors).

Despite Adam no longer a Swan he is still loved and endeared strongly by the Swan Army, which was formed after his legendary 2018 season. The fans still welcome him as a hero and stay after the games to have a chat with him whenever he faces Albirex. He opened the doors for many Singaporean footballers to join the Japanese side and have followed in his footpath by showing that they too can be a success.

With the return of Adam former Swans coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga, many had hoped to see the return of Adam Swandi. However, with him being 26 years old in 2022 and Albirex only being able to sign 2 overage Singaporean players, it would be highly unlikely that he would return anytime soon.

Wherever Adam will be the Swan Army will forever support you. We will never forget what you have done for the club and what you achieved here. Always will be welcomed with cheers, we love you Adam SWANdi-san The Flying Swan.

Featured Image Credits: Singapore Premier League

The Swan Army: Albirex Niigata (S) Is Not a Foreign Team But Singapore’s First Localized Football Club

Close to 4 years ago, On the 8 of January 2018, it was announced that Albirex have signed two Singapore players in the form of Adam Swandi and Shahul Rayyan. It marked a new dawn at Jurong East stadium as the FAS finally approved the Swans to sign Singaporean players after 14 years of being…

The Crew: Feelings and Thoughts on Stipe Plazibat’s Departure

Hi, my name is Joseph Jireh, I am 21 this year and I have been a Lion City Sailors’ fan since early 2020 when the new project was announced. Before I go into the details and all I would like to start by caveating that I will never be able to do justice to what…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: