Singapore international winger Gabriel Quak has joined Warriors FC to return to the Singapore Premier League after a stint in the Thai League.
Quak initially signed for Warriors at the start of 2018 but an offer from Navy FC in Thailand saw him make the move to ply his trade in Thai League 1.
He became an integral member for Navy สโมสรฟุตบอลราชนาวี alongside former Korean Republic international Bang Seung-hwan and War Elephants legend Nattaporn Phanrit.
Despite a healthy return of four goals and one assist in 23 appearances, becoming the first Singaporean to score in Thai League 1, Navy struggled to find their form and were relegated at the end of the season.
While offers came in from other Thai clubs and two Indonesian clubs, one of them rumoured to be Barito Putera, Quak made the decision to return to play in the Singapore Premier League (SPL), partly due to family commitments.
With two other local teams keen to add the fleet-footed winger to their roster, Quak opted to sign with Warriors because of their loyalty.
“There were offers from Thailand and to my surprise, two clubs from Indonesia came in late for me but the idea of playing in Singapore has been there since I found out that my wife was expecting our second child,” Quak told FOX Sports Asia.
“When my first child Gladys was born, I went on national team duty when she was just three-days old and then I spent 2018 in Thailand, missing out on a lot of her childhood moments.
“This time around, I had a long chat with my family and after much consideration, I decided to take up the Warriors offer to stay in Singapore.”
With the impending arrival of his second child, Quak is not losing his focus on the pitch as he aims to improve on a good 2018 where he used his experience in Thailand to become a key player for Fandi Ahmad’s Lions at the AFF Suzuki Cup.
The 28-year-old’s immediate task is to help Warriors reclaim their dominance in the local football scene and possibly add a piece of silverware to the club’s trophy cabinet.
“It all felt very right to join Warriors because of the faith that the club hierarchy had shown. I already started training with the club at the start of 2018 but when the offer to play in Thailand came in, the club allowed me to chase my dream at Navy and when they found out I was thinking of returning to Singapore, they welcomed me back in with open arms,” Quak added.
“I have been training with the team for more than a week and am returning to peak condition. I cannot wait for the 2019 campaign to start and hopefully as a team, we can produce the results to return the club to where it belongs. The ideal scenario will be if we can be right there at the top and qualify for the AFC tournaments like the AFC Cup or Champions League qualification.”
While most Singapore players will give anything to play abroad, Quak has no regrets choosing to play in Singapore but still harbours hopes of continuing his overseas playing career in the near future.
He said: “There are things money can’t buy, like watching your baby grow up, especially in the first few months. I want to be here to support my wife and ensure my kids settle in before looking to play abroad again.
“My time in Thailand was one of the most valuable experiences I ever had as a professional footballer and the memories will stay with me forever. Hopefully, the doors will still be open for me to play abroad soon.”