Jordan Webb chose Singapore national team chance over move to MSL
Canadian-born winger Jordan Webb has revealed that he rejected a move to Malaysia because of his hope of being naturalised to play for the Singapore national team.
The Warriors FC winger is still counting on the chance of representing the Lions, having fulfilled the five-year residency requirement in 2016.
"During this time of waiting and uncertainty, I had the opportunity to play in Malaysia, but [playing for the Singapore national team] is what I want," Webb told The New Paper, ahead of Friday night's S.League game between Warriors and Geylang United at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Singapore's poor recent form, including Saturday's 2-1 home loss to regional minnows Chinese Taipei in AFC Asian Cup qualifying, has reopened the debate about introducing foreign-born players to the squad.
The four-time Southeast Asian champions have won only two of 15 matches in just over a year.
And Webb was in the crowd at the National Stadium on Tuesday night when Singapore were thrashed 6-0 by Argentina in a high-profile friendly.
He may not have made a difference against the world No. 2-ranked side, but he believes he could have helped against the Taiwanese at Jalan Besar Stadium, as the Lions lacked creative flair and a cutting edge.
"For sure, I could have helped turn things around for the Lions," he said.
"And it's not just me. Sirina [Camara, French] and Song [Ui Yong, South Korean] and even Kento [Fukuda, Japanese] would have made an impact if we had been naturalised."
Webb, 29, has scored 73 goals in his eight seasons in the S.League. Before moving to Warriors this season, he was part of a Tampines Rovers side who pushed Albirex Niigata (S) for the title in 2016.
His combination with ex-Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant caught the eye as the Stags went on an eight-game winning streak in the middle of their campaign.
"I want to play with the best players here, and I did with Jermaine Pennant at Tampines Rovers and now with the likes of Shahril Ishak, someone I really look up to, at Warriors," he said.
"And you can't say that Pennant and I were a class apart, I felt we were equals.
"But what I really want is to play for Singapore and do my part for years to come.
"I look at Aleksandar Duric who played into his 40s, and my wife and I try to monitor my diet and take good care of my body because that's the kind of freak I want to be."
Webb added that he has set both personal and team targets in the hope of catching the eye of Singapore coach V. Sundramoorthy, his former boss at Tampines.
"I have won the Singapore Cup with Home United, and it's still my dream to win the S.League, as well as the Player of the Year award here," he said.
"This is my time now, I'm at my peak, so I hope the authorities can see that and how much I want to help Singapore football.
After Lim Kia Tong was voted in as the new Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president on April 29, he spoke with Sundramoorthy about revisiting the idea of naturalising players, including Webb.
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