SINGAPORE: Nineteen-year-old footballer Putri Syaliza Sazali is set to become the first Singaporean female player to ply her trade in the Thai Women’s League 1 (TWL1), the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said on Tuesday (May 24).
Putri will play for Chonburi Women’s Football Club for the remainder of their season after impressing head coach Kritsada Phungmali in a closed-door practice match between the Singapore's women's football team and the club in the lead-up to the 31st SEA Games.
She was offered a chance to play for the club in the second round of the TWL1, which starts on Saturday.
Chonburi were runners-up in the TWL1 last season and are currently third in the eight-team table with 13 points.
Coach Phungmali noted that Chonburi had problems with finishing chances in games during the league games played in the first round.
"I want players who can contribute to the attack and have a good finish. After seeing Putri’s playing style, I was very keen to have her as part of our squad," he said.
Putri, who has 11 caps for the Lionesses, said that the level of football in Thailand "is higher and more competitive".
"I had a week’s training stint in Chonburi back in early 2020 and I have seen how fast-paced it is, but I am confident that I am going to have a great month and learn a lot from it.”
Putri is currently on an athletic scholarship from Eastern Florida State College in the United States and is on her semester break. In her first year, she was part of the squad that won the college’s first national title.
In Chonburi, Putri will train and play alongside Thai internationals - forward Saowalak Pengngam and midfielder Wilaiporn Boothduang - who both featured at the 2019 France FIFA World Cup.
Putri will depart for Thailand on Wednesday and will return to Singapore after their last match on Jun 19.
In 2021, she became the first local female footballer to receive an overseas athletic scholarship.