Adam's off to chase his dream

Teen footballer Adam Swandi (centre) with his father, former national footballer Swandi Kitto (left), and his mother Hamidah Dasuki at Changi Airport before flying off to France to begin his stint with FC Metz.

Wearing a stylish cardigan over a chequered red shirt buttoned all the way to the top, Adam Swandi looked ready to embrace all that was French.

The talented youngster left for France last Sunday's night, bound for the FC Metz football academy.

The 17-year-old recently signed a two-year deal with the French third-tier side as he chases his goal of becoming a professional footballer in Europe.

While he has already started French lessons and is looking forward to getting out onto the football pitch, there is much still to be done to ensure that his Gallic adventure is a smooth one.

Adam is a minor, and Fifa rules stipulate that if he is to continue his football education in an academy in a foreign country, he must be accompanied by family members who have to live in the country.

Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin, who helped secure the tie-up, told The New Paper on Monday that the wheels are already in motion to ensure that Adam's parents - 57-year-old Swandi Kitto, and Hamidah Dasuki, 54, join him there.

"We are working on it, getting help from the relevant agencies, and using my network wherever possible to make sure that happens. All over the world

"FC Metz have had talent coming from all over the world, and they are familiar with the situation. More importantly, his parents know just what sort of sacrifices are required to help Adam pursue his dream, and I'm grateful that both Swandi and his wife are so supportive," said Zainudin.

Besides Adam, the Metz academy, which has produced the likes of Robert Pires, signed two Indian boys - Maanas Kalra and Shiv Jhangiani - last December.

Adam first came to prominence at the 2011 Canon Lion City Cup when he starred for the Singapore Under-15s.

He has been improving, and his father, former Singapore international Swandi, knows what is required of him to fuel his son's European dream.

Speaking to local media at Changi Airport last Sunday's night, he said both he and his wife are prepared to go as far as it takes.

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