New boy Gabriel Quak aims to return Warriors FC to S.League summit
Singapore international Gabriel Quak is keen to repay Warriors FC's trust by restoring them back to the top of the S.League for the 2018 season.
The 27-year-old was on the radar of the uniformed outfit after ending his four-year spell with LionsXII in 2015, but opted to join Geylang International the following year.
The fleet-footed winger scored seven goals for the Eagles over the last two seasons before finally arriving in the Warriors' den.
"Warriors has been interested in me for the last two years and I'm humbled by that," he told ESPN FC. "It's always nice to feel wanted and I knew that if I was ever leaving Geylang, there was only one place I would go to, which is Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
"[General Manager] Paul [Poh] speaks to me a lot and I like his vision of building the club, therefore I knew I'm going to play for the right man.
"We all know this is the most successful club in Singapore but in recent years, we've been in the rebuilding process. I want to bring the Warriors back to where they used to belong -- at the top."
Warriors are the record nine-time champions of the S.League, but their last title came back in 2014 under English coach Alex Weaver. With Razif Onn in charge, they finished fifth out of nine teams in the 2017 season.
Former striker Mirko Grabovac was due to take over the coaching reins from Razif, but his return to the S.League may have hit a snag, due to his decision to renounce his Singapore citizenship.
Now playing alongside former LionsXII teammates Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Emmeric Ong, Firdaus Kasman and Khairul Nizam, Quak hopes to recapture his spot in the Singapore national team with the AFF Suzuki Cup looming at the end of 2018.
He was last called up in June, but didn't play a single minute under current coach V. Sundramoorthy in 2017. His last appearance for the Lions was coming on as an added-time substitute for Faris Ramli in a 2-1 defeat to Indonesia in the 2016 Suzuki Cup group stages.
He netted on his debut in a 5-2 win against Laos in 2013 and scored a superb winning goal in a surprise 2-1 victory over Syria in the same year under former Belarus and Iraq coach Bernd Stange.
"Over the years, I've shown what I can produce at club level. And especially at the international level, I thought I seldom disappoint whenever I'm called upon," he said. "2017 was not really an ideal year for our national team and I was hoping to be able to contribute more. Nonetheless I believe 2018 will be a better year because it's a Suzuki Cup year and I'm looking forward to a fantastic season ahead."
Spending the off-season seeing many of his national teammates jet off to either Malaysia or Thailand for their next career moves, Quak is motivated to achieve something similar.
"It's very good and refreshing to see many of my peers moving abroad and I believe they'll do very well," he commented. "For me, if there's an opportunity, I believe I will have the blessing and support of my GM and the club.
"But right now, my focus is on the Warriors. It's going to be an interesting year whereby every club has an equal chance to win anything because of the new age restrictions.
"I thought I had a pretty good season in 2017 -- played a lot and had many good games, so I want to credit Geylang for believing in me. Now I need to do even better for the Warriors this season.
"At 28, I think I have nothing much to prove anymore. It's more about fine-tuning the consistency."
Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.