Lions in Thailand: Baihakki does the shuffle; Zulfahmi sees double with birthday cake

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

FOX Sports Asia brings you a weekly watch on what the stars of Singapore football Zulfahmi Arifin, Gabriel Quak, Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud and Baihakki Khaizan are up to both on and off the pitch in Thailand.

Zulfahmi Arifin – Chonburi FC

Photos sourced from Chonburi FB & Zulfahmi IG

The celebrations just do not stop for Chonburi FC’s Zulfahmi Arifin.

First off, the Sharks no. 23 brought the curtains down on his maiden Thai League 1 season against Chiangrai United at the Chonburi Stadium against Chiangrai United.

Last Sunday, the Singapore international midfielder lasted 57 minutes before making way for Chonburi teammate Bajram Nebihi as the ninth-placed club secured a point with a 1-1 draw in the final game of the season. The Beetles grabbed the lead midway through the first half via Siwakorn Tiatrakul, but Sharks’ attacking midfielder Worachit Kanitsribampen hit back after the break from the spot.

After the game, Zulfahmi, who turned 27 last Friday, was surprised by his Thai fans with a photo cake and a belated-birthday gift. They presented 2013 Malaysia Super League winner with a handcrafted photo board which features the best photos from his first year with the Sharks.

Suzuki Cup winner Zulfahmi is now back in Singapore and has been called up by coach Fandi Ahmad to the national team for friendlies against Mongolia and Cambodia. They play Mongolia tonight and Cambodia next Tuesday, October 16.

Gabriel Quak – Navy FC

Photos sourced from Quak IG

Gabriel Quak ended his Navy FC adventure last week, but perhaps not in the manner that he imagined.

At the UMT Stadium last Sunday, the Navy no. 22 had to wait until the 78th minute before coming on for Brazilian Caion against Ubon UMT United FC. But by then, it was already too late as the Eagles were already three goals up and soaring at that point.

Ubon’s attacking midfielder Srdan Dimitrov opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Apiwat Pengprakon made it two 11 minutes later. The 30-year-old Thai forward completed his brace midway through the second period to rub salt unto relegated Navy’s wounds as they ran out 3-0 winners. Navy finished 16th in the league with 30 points and drop to the Thai League 2 next season.

After thanking his Navy FC club mates and fans on Facebook (FB), winger Quak is now back home preparing for the Lions’ friendlies against Mongolia and Cambodia. The 27-year-old was present alongside Singapore national coach Fandi Ahmad in the pre-match press conference for Mongolia last night.

While we know that Irfan Fandi can bust a (dance) move, but did you know that Baihakki Khaizan can shuffle as well as a seasoned clubber? #lit The veteran Lions defender was caught on Quak’s Insta Story getting jiggly on his feet as they chilled out in their rooms the night before the Mongolia match!

Hassan Sunny – Army United FC

Photos sourced from FAS FB

Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny had a blast from the past last Sunday as he returned to former club Tampines Rovers FC to don their colours one more again.

The two-time Suzuki Cup winner was selected as a member of the Tampines All-Stars squad which drew 3-3 with a Singapore Selection as the who’s who of Singapore football honoured retiring Lions midfielder Fahrudin Mustafic.

34-year-old Hassan, who was between the sticks in the second half, could not get a hand to keep out Qiu Li‘s shot in the 70th minute as the former Singapore forward made it 3-1. Fahrudin and Khairul Amri were the goalscorers for the Tampines Selection.

And it is business as usual for Hassan as he was back on the training pitch with the Singapore Lions this week as they prepare for friendlies against Mongolia and Cambodia.

The Singapore international was put through his paces and received a surprise with the rest of his national squad teammates as former Malaysia Cup hero Abbas Saad popped by to observe Fandi Ahmad’s charges.

Izwan Mahbud – Nongbua Pitchaya FC

Photos sourced from Izwan IG & FAS FB

Izwan Mahbud took the time to reflect on his first season aboard in the Thai League 2 and thank everyone at Nongbua Pitchaya FC who made it a success. The Singaporean goalkeeper helped the Gamecocks to a fifth-placed finish claiming 45 points in the process.

The 28-year-old carried his reflective end-of-season mood into Fahrudin’s testimonial as he returned to his old stomping ground at Our Tampines Hub.

Former Tampines Rovers stopper Izwan was a part of the Singapore Selection that drew 3-3 with a Tampines All-Stars side. Daniel Bennett, Noh Alam Shah and Qiu Li all netted for the Singapore All-Stars!

And the 2012 Suzuki Cup winner will be keeping his Singapore jersey close by as he prepares for the upcoming international friendlies with Mongolia and Cambodia.

Baihakki Khaizan – Udon Thani FC

Photos sourced from Tampines Rovers FB & Baihakki IG

Veteran Singapore international Baihakki could be in line to link up with Suzuki Cup-winning defensive partner Safuwan Baharudin in the friendlies against Mongolia and Cambodia.

But before turning out for the Singapore Lions, the 34-year-old paid tribute to retiring international teammate Fahrudin Mustafic. Baihakki, along with Safuwan, were part of the Singapore Selection that drew 3-3 with a Tampines All-Stars side.

Aside from footballing matters, the three-time Suzuki Cup winner also found the time to catch up with his business mentor and fellow Nottingham Forest supporter Fazlur Rahman.

Baihakki, who is currently a free agent pondering his next football career move, also shared an inspirational quote on his Instagram. So if you are in need of some words of wisdom…

 

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