Ex-Liverpool star Pennant competing with Danish MF for S.League contract
Former Seattle Sounders attacker Philip Lund is eager to earn a contract with Tampines Rovers in Singapore as he competes with ex-Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant for an import spot.
The pair trained together at the S.League giants on Thursday after Pennant's arrival from the UK.
Having come through the ranks at Danish Superliga side Vejle Boldklub, 26-year-old Lund got his big break when Major League Soccer (MLS) side Seattle Sounders signed him in 2013.
He spent the last three years with the Sounders, United Soccer League (USL) side Oklahoma City Energy and B36 Torshavn in the Faroe Islands before trying his luck in Southeast Asia last year.
"I was in Malaysia before Christmas on trial with DRB-Hicom FC and scored a bunch of goals." Lund told ESPN FC.
"But the coach was looking for a tall striker, a different kind of player to me. It's always been a dream to play football in Asia and to have a chance to join a great club like Tampines, there is nothing more I can ask for."
While Lund has high hopes of securing a contract with V. Sundramoorthy's Tampines, the limelight has been on former England U21 star Pennant who is on a week-long trial with the Stags.
Despite vying with Pennant for one of three foreign slots at Tampines, Lund welcomes competition from the Englishman, seeing it as a big plus for the Republic's stuttering league.
"I played with some of his former teammates like Djimi Traore at the Sounders and I'll probably have a few words with him about it during training," he said.
"I used to watch Jermaine when he was playing in the Premier League and he was an amazing and exciting player. So this is good for football in Singapore, and hopefully I can be a part of it."
In addition to the well-travelled Pennant, Lund says he impressed by the high standards of local footballers like Shahdan Sulaiman and Fazrul Nawaz.
"I shouldn't be singling out any single player but they all looked really sharp and good in training," said the former Denmark U19 attacker.. "To be honest, the standard is much higher than I expected. And it is definitely higher than what I saw during my trial in Malaysia.
"Coach Sundram has put together a very strong team and I will need to keep proving myself in the coming days to earn a contract and live my dream of playing football in Asia."
Tampines have one of the S.League's strongest squads, with nine ex-LionsXII players.
Coach Sundram has yet make any foreign signings, but sources tell ESPN FC that Lund and Pennant are at the top of his list, with a decision due next week.