Zulfadli Zainal Abidin
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|Full name||Zulfadli Zainal Abidin|
|Date of birth||26 April 1988|
|Place of birth||Singapore|
|Height||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|2006||Tampines Rovers prime league|
|2009||Singapore Armed Forces FC||0||(0)|
|2010–2011||Home United FC||24||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 January 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:30, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
Zulfadli came late to serious football, having initially kicked a ball around only with his friends and had done little beyond that until getting a chance at Bartley Secondary School.
He must have shown promise as he was selected for the NFA Under 15, Under 16, Under 17 and Under 18 squads and also played a year for Tampines Rovers FC in their Prime League side.
He had been spotted when appearing for Bartley Secondary School during Sec 2 when playing in a pre-season friendly against the Under 15 NFA side.
The coach at the time, Rajendran, liked what he saw of the then striker, who also played as a centre-back at Tampines Rovers FC, and based on his performance invited Zulfadli to play for his NFA Under 15s the following year.
In his Under 16 team the season after, Zulfadli played in left midfield under R. Suriamuthi and it seems this is the position he has leaned towards ever since.
After two years there, Zulfadli was disappointed to learn that he was not being included for another season and was going to be without a club, prompting thoughts of even finishing with football.
It was then that Singapore Armed Forces FC stepped in and Richard Bok, who had taken advice from Zulfadli’s former coach Raj, handed Zulfadli a lifeline, since the player had almost resigned himself to being out of the S.League; having tasted that after a previous experience in the Prime League, he had no interest in dropping down to that level.
Zulfadli suffered a serious hamstring injury, while jogging alone at the gym, and the hamstring problem affected both legs. He was advised to rest for six months and did not made it back until he played Woodlands Wellington FC on 22 June 2011 at left left back and won 5-1. Having played against all of the big teams for Home United FC and things were going well until he suffered a Grade 3 MCL tear while playing Hougang United FC.
Zulfadli made only one appearance for them before the end of national service, as a substitute against Etoile FC in a Singapore Cup Quarter Final second-leg game at Queenstown Stadium, which he won 1-0.
On his first start at the Hougang Stadium three days later, he justified coach Richard Bok's faith by netting the clincher in a 3-1 win with a cracking goal from 20 metres out on the left that left Fadhil Salim sprawling.
On Oct 31, there was another goal to come for Zulfadli, this time off the bench, in a match at Bedok Stadium against Geylang United FC when the 83rd minute replacement netted the sixth goal in a 6-3 rout of the Eagles.
In 2015, Zulfadli signed for Tampines Rovers.
Zulfadli was first called up to the national team as a replacement for Shaiful Esah in 2013. He made his international debut in 2013. He got called up frequently from 2014 to 2015 but did not make any appearance. Due to Noh Rahman's retirement from international football, after he was included in the squad for the 2016 AYA Bank Cup, he was called up as a replacement. He made his second appearance on 3 June 2016 against Myanmar in a 1-0 win, replacing Gabriel Quak in the 84th minute.
- As of match played November 2016. Caps and goals may not be correct.
|Singapore Armed Forces||2009||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
- Young Lions is ineligible for qualification to AFC competitions in their respective leagues.
- As of June 2016
|2||3 June 2016||Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon, Myanmar||Myanmar||0–1 (won)||2016 AYA Bank Cup|
- "Zulfadli Bin Zainal Abidin,Player's Data,Match Statistical Information,7M Sports". Data2.7m.cn. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20160303205346/http://www.sleague.com/Web/main.aspx?ID=,68e68380-9e0b-44b2-8a32-d06df7470ca6&AID=02ce6f98-06e8-4372-a8ae-9851e99cb3ca&NLT=300. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2011. Missing or empty
- https://web.archive.org/web/20111022154420/http://www.sleague.com/Web/main.aspx?ID=,68e68380-9e0b-44b2-8a32-d06df7470ca6&AID=53cdb4aa-4ace-42c9-bf65-7833c4f24888&NLT=300. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011. Missing or empty
- https://web.archive.org/web/20111022154434/http://www.sleague.com/Web/main.aspx?ID=,68e68380-9e0b-44b2-8a32-d06df7470ca6&AID=6d88b9d1-6519-4a93-b134-147013b3372d&NLT=300. Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011. Missing or empty
- https://web.archive.org/web/20160303223923/http://www.sleague.com/Web/main.aspx?ID=,68e68380-9e0b-44b2-8a32-d06df7470ca6&AID=8dde26ec-0213-4c46-bc44-37900703f5fe&NLT=300. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved November 13, 2011. Missing or empty
- "Singapore vs Myanmar".
- "Singapore - Z. Zainal Abidin - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway.com. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- "Zulfadli keen to grasp national team opportunity | The Football Association of Singapore". Fas.org.sg. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2016-03-15.