After an eight-year sojourn with Malaysian champion Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT), Singapore captain Hariss Harun finally crossed the causeway home after signing with Lion City Sailors FC on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
The details of the transfer were not disclosed as the 30-year-old midfielder will officially make his debut for the Sailors in June after the May international break.
For the record, Hariss joined the Southern Tigers in 2014 and went on to win seven successive Malaysian Super League titles, nine domestic competitions and the AFC Cup in 2015, becoming the first Malaysian side to ever win an intercontinental competition.
Hariss described his homecoming as timely as the Singapore Premier League (SPL) was the place where he first started his career with Young Lions FC.
“I’m thrilled to return home. It’s wildly exciting to now be a part of the Lion City Sailors’ vision of building up a club that can act as a catalyst for the SPL and Singapore football,” he said.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with JDT, and it was an honour to have worn the armband for a team that enjoyed tremendous success on the pitch while also making amazing improvements off the field too. I’d like to express my gratitude to (club owner) Tunku Ismail for his leadership and trust in me, and also thank the JDT team, staff and the people of Johor for welcoming me as one of their own.
“I can’t wait to get started on my next chapter with the Sailors, and I look forward to years of Sailors’ on-field success and off the pitch progress.”
The Sailors’ chief executive Chew Chun-Liang was ecstatic to pen the deal with the national team skipper and cooperating with the Southern Tigers was a working pleasure.
“Hariss is a model professional who has shown that he is a leader in the dressing room as well as on the pitch, and we’re looking forward to him contributing to all the various facets of the Lion City Sailors project,” he said.
Chew added: “He has all the qualities that will not only strengthen the Sailors, but make our fans proud of what we’re aiming to build at the club. We’re delighted to welcome Hariss back to Singapore.”
The number fourteen previously spent the 2017 season on loan at Home United, the previous iteration of the Sailors, in a season that saw the team score 97 goals in all competitions, finishing third in the SPL and second runners-up in the Singapore Cup.
Hariss will be reunited with Stipe Plazibat and Faris Ramli, who were also members of the 2017 team.
THE BRUNEIAN | KUALA LUMPUR