From Staring The Face Of Retirement To The Albirex’s First Singaporean Captain
When Fairoz came in during the mid-transfer window of 2020, not many Swans knew who Fairoz was and what he could bring to the team.
Yet, question marks were erased when Fairoz gave us a spirited performance, bringing passion and aggression on the pitch in his debut. Eventually and unsurprisingly, he would grow to become a fan favourite and a cult hero, especially among our Singaporean fan base.
When he scored Albirex’s second goal against Lion City Sailors in November 2020 he announced himself to the Swan Army that he isn’t simply there to fill in the Singaporean quota but to contribute to the team goals and there are still years in his goal scoring boots. Fairoz went on to become an SPL champion, his first-ever title, at the end of the 2020 campaign alongside good friend Hyrulnizam Juma’at, or Ah Lau which many are used to know him as.
He showed great fitness for a player over 30 years old and one that was clubless for the majority of the season before signing for the Swans. Many had hoped that Fairoz will be able to continue his energy and aggression come 2021 to defend our title as he was also named as one of the three vice-captains for the team. Fairoz grew to be a leader and example to follow, especially to the many young footballers aiming to start their careers. Japanese and Singaporean alike. He will motivate the boys on and off the pitch as he hopes to contribute to the team’s success whatever his role may be.
Unfortunately, it was not a season to remember for Fairoz as he struggled to make an impact throughout the 2021 season, spending almost half of the season in the treatment room. His woeful season was summed up when Albirex hosted Hougang in August 2021 where Fairoz came on for the injured Nicky Melvin Sigh and injected much-needed energy for the home side but was forced to come off after just under 20 minutes. His tackle on Lionel Tan had left him worse off between the two. He struggled on the pitch and endured the pain before eventually subbing off for Hanada. The Fans were worried about his fitness and many claimed it may be a case of second season syndrome where he failed to live up to the standards he set in his debut season for the Swans. But as the saying goes what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Fairoz’s third season saw the change at the head coach helm as legendary Head Coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga returns to the Jurong East dugout. With the 2022 season off and running Fairoz was like a man revitalized. He finally broke his goal-scoring duck as he scored in the 5-0 drumming of Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium. He celebrated his goal by running to the bench celebrating with his good friend Ah Lau and Coach Kazu showing love to both.
The trust for Fairoz has seen the following match, as a Covid-19 hit Albirex side was lead out by Captain Fairoz against Lion City Sailors at the Jurong East Stadium in a momentous match. For the first time in the history of Albirex, they have A Singaporean wearing the captain’s armband. Unfortunately, Fairoz could not get his goal against our rivals as his vicious volleys were inches away or spot by an in form Hassan Sunny. This Season is long so there is still time to see how Fairoz’s third chapter with the Swans will unfold.
The Swan Army hopes to see Fairoz continue to lead and score for the Swans many more times this season as we hope to see him continue to have an injury-free 3rd season. We wish you the best, our very own Luis Suarez (just like how Ah Lau likes to refer to him).
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