Geylang forward Zikos Chua takes over Hariss Harun as youngest-ever player to debut in Singapore Premier League.
The 16-year-old, who was born in Greece to a Greek mother and a Singaporean father, came on as a substitute in the 87th minute with the Eagles leading 3-1 to write his name into Singapore football history.
Previously, Singapore captain Hariss Harun held the record as the youngest player to make his SPL debut at the age of 16 years and 110 days old when he played for the Young Lions.
Chua can now lay claim to the record – 16 years and 80 days old – but he is no stranger to the football limelight having impressed during his time with the National Football Academy (NFA) and also representing his school, Tanjong Katong Secondary in the ‘B’ Division.
Having gone through the NFA ranks, Chua signed with Geylang’s U-19 team in January 2018 and has gone on to score five goals in eight appearances for the young Eagles.
His record with Tanjong Katong Secondary is equally impressive after he shared that he scored 25 goals in the ‘B’ Division’s (School Premier League 1 and School Premier League 2) this year.
Despite only getting five minutes of action on his SPL debut, Chua is grateful for the opportunity and is hoping it is a stepping stone for bigger things to come.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to come on but I kept myself warmed up and ready to go in case coach needed me,” Chua told FOX Sports Asia.
“I didn’t know I am the youngest player to make his SPL debut and this is definitely right up there as one of my proudest moments in football along with the time when I scored for the Singapore U-14s in Brunei two years ago.
“I got offered by coach Noor Ali last year to play for the U-19s at Geylang and considering this year was my GCE ‘O’ Levels year, I felt it was a good thing because Geylang training is near my school so I thought why not try it out and build on from there.
“I’ve been with the Geylang senior team for two months now and every day is a great learning experience.”
Chua has been training with the NFA U-16 team for the past few weeks and has already caught the eye of many coaches at the age-group level.
A step up to the Geylang SPL team may be a proud moment in his blossoming football career but the humble youngster is refusing to let it get into his head as he reveals an even bigger target in mind.
“I have some goals and aspirations to play for the Singapore national team one day but there is no set timeline,” he added.
“Right now is all about improving every day, absorbing what I can and hopefully that gives me the best chance to be called up to make the next step whether it is for club or country in future.”
While donning the red jersey for Singapore is his long-term goal, the immediate focus for the newly-minted record-holder is his ‘O’ Levels examinations that will start next month.