S’porean teenager Ben Davis signs with EPL side Fulham
National Service looming in the background though.
Singaporean teenager Ben Davis has signed a professional contract with English Premier League side Fulham.
Not first team yet
He is not training with the Fulham first team just yet or will he be making an appearance on the pitch, as he will continue to play with the Under-18s and U-23s.
But this move means he will earn a weekly wage at the newly-promoted Premier League club Fulham FC.
Benjamin, 17, joined Fulham on a two-year scholarship deal in July 2017.
He will turn 18 this November.
His performances for the Fulham U-18 side were so impressive that the club gave him a new deal.
He is the first Singaporean to sign a professional contract with a top-tier English club.
Fulham made an announcement on its website on Friday, July 13.
It said the midfielder accrued a pass accuracy of over 90 percent for the U-18s.
Channel News Asia reported Ben saying: “I was so happy and then excited. I really didn’t expect it as I am still in the first year of my two-year scholarship deal although I did have a good second half of the season.”
The former Singapore Sports School student is also working towards his first full international cap. He has already earned a call-up to the Singapore national team earlier in the year.
Since last year, Ben has said the training and intensity of football in England is a lot more physical. He said he would work to build his muscles as that is the way the game is played over there, where there is a need to win the ball using one’s physique.
National Service beckons
Ben still has to serve two years of National Service though.
He flew back to Singapore for one day in August 2017 to undergo his pre-NS enlistment medical check-up in the afternoon before returning to England on the same night.
With that process completed, Davis has applied for NS deferment.
FourFourTwo reported that the Football Association of Singapore will render help for his application, where it will be assessed by Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) before reaching the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF).
No Singaporean footballer has ever been able to defer NS, however talented they might be.