After Nazmi Faiz - Top 5 South-East Asians who have a shot in Europe

Irfan Haarys Bachdim | Indonesia | Age: 24
A talented striker, Irfan Bachdim received his footballing education in the famous Ajax academy alongside Dutch starlets, Ryan Babel and Jeffery Sarpong. He plied his trade in the Dutch lower leagues before moving back to Indonesia, where he currently plays for Persema Malang with a decent strike rate of 16 goals in 23 appearances. However, injuries and various off-the-pitch developments have distracted this youngster from fully dedicating himself to the game. Time will tell if he can reach the full potential that he has shown glimpses of in his time with the national team.


Philip Younghusband | Philippines | Age: 25
The younger half of the dynamic Younghusband duo, Philip currently plays for United Football League’s Loyola Meralco Sparks and the Philippines national team. A prolific striker, who is usually assisted with a killer pass from his elder brother, he has an impressive goal tally of 24 goals in 34 national appearances. He has European experience, having played for the Chelsea youth and reserve teams as well as a loan spell with Danish side, Esbjerg.


Hariss Harun | Singapore | Age: 22
Hariss Harun, midfielder who plays for the Malaysian Super League team, LionsXII and currently the vice-captain of the squad and has the honour of being Singapore’s youngest ever national player, having played for the senior side from the age of 16. A versatile and combative midfielder, Hariss won Singapore Nike’s Who’s Next competition in 2007, securing a training stint at Barcelona’s renowned youth academy, La Masia. During the period, he captained the squad for all the friendlies and eventually won the Most Valuable Player award. In 2010, he underwent an unsuccessful trial with Chinese Super League side, Shanghai Shenhua but has been linked with a move to Europe next season.


Mohd Irfan Fazail | Malaysia | Age: 21
Mohd Irfan is a midfielder currently plying his trade at Harimau Muda A. He had the privilege of being one of the first Malaysians to play in the Slovakian league when he was loaned out to Zlate Moravce, making two appearances. A key player in Malaysian U23 set up, he played alongside Nazmi Faiz in Malaysia’s gold medal-winning run in the 2011 SEA Games. An all-rounded player with eye for picking out the killer pass, there should be little doubt in more European opportunities coming his way in the future.


Kawin Thamsatchanan | Thailand | Age: 22
While Asia is not known for producing quality goalkeepers, Kawin Thamsatchanan is certainly the exception. Nicknamed, “The Flying Kawin”, he routinely produces spectacular acrobatic saves leading his team to two Thai Premier League titles. Despite his size, his agilty and command of the penalty area once prompted Thailand national coach, Sir Bobby Robson, to recommend Kawin for a goalkeeping trial at Manchester United. Unfortunately, a wrist injury scuppered that chance, but as first choice keeper in the national team, Kawin still has plenty of chances to prove he can be South-East Asia’s, potentially even Asia’s, number one goalkeeper.


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