By Khalis Rifhan
He started his professional career with French fifth-tier club Evreux FC, before he was approached to play in Singapore with Etoile FC for the 2010 S.League season.
Without any knowledge of the footballing situation in Singapore, Frederic Mendy decided to give it a shot as he felt that it might be a stepping stone in his footballing career.
He soon found out that it was not an easy league to play in, as the Singapore clubs were eager to show that they were no pushovers against the French outfit.
“When I first came here, I did not know the level of football in Singapore," said the towering forward.
"Singapore’s league is not only tough, but also difficult. When the local teams played against Etoile FC, they are more aggressive and motivated as all [of them] wanted to win against us, a French team.
“Usually, they will be very defensive and hit us on the break. They definitely stepped up their level whenever they faced us."
The lanky Frenchman smiled as he recalled his greatest moments in his career here thus far - winning trophies in his debut seasons for both Etoile and his current club, Home United.
“The best moment for me in Singapore was when I won the title with Etoile in 2010, and also the RHB Singapore Cup with Home United in 2011," said the 23-year-old.
"I was very happy to win the titles during my first years with both clubs."
Although Mendy was free from troubles on the field, where he banged in the goals (he won the Golden Boot in his debut season in 2010), he had problems off the pitch.
Prior to his foray into Singapore, English was an alien language to him and he struggled to master it at first.
“It was at first difficult for me, as I did not speak English," recalled the Paris born Mendy.
"The quality of both teams (Home United and Etoile) is not much different but it was easier when I was playing for Etoile, as I could communicate well with my French teammates.
“Nobody taught me English, actually. I learned it on my own, communicating with my Singaporean friends during training and I improved from there."
As our conversation drew to a close, the possibility of playing for the Singapore national team was brought up.
When asked whether the thought of donning a Lions jersey had ever crossed his mind, Mendy flashed a huge smile before giving a cheeky reply: “I can’t answer this question, because they [the Football Association of Singapore] have never asked me about it."
"That is why I am not able to think about it. If they ask me, maybe I will start thinking about it!”