Sports

The U-23 rulings have shortchanged a lot of players, says former national youth defender R Aaravin, who retires at 24.

A former Young Lion and national youth defender and The New Paper Dollah Kassim award winner R Aaravin has spoken out against the current under-23 regulations in the Singapore Premier League which makes it mandatory for clubs to sign and field players who are under the age of 23.

“The under-23 rule has actually shortchanged a lot of players, not just one two, but several players.

“There’s a lot of players who are stranded without clubs, or rather forced in a situation where, ok I can offer you this pay, you want to take, you take. If not I will find someone cheaper,” he said in a The Final Whistle podcast which was aired on 26 February.

“As a player, this is the last situation you want to be in.

“The demand is for under-23 players, players who have just crossed the age, or slightly older are not a great use to the team,” said the player who represented Singapore at the 2012 Lion City Cup who spent 10 days at a training stint at FC Metz in France in 2014.

The 24-year-old said that he has chosen to retire from the sport at the ripe old age of 24.

He also spoke about how some players were being paid pittance in terms of salaries, even though they had to play week in and week out, and were signed as part-timers.

“For players, you are expecting them to take back $800, $500, $1000 but you expect them o play week in week out.

“It is not the right way to go about it.”

The lack of opportunities available and the fact that the players want to play mean that they are “left without a choice.”

Aaravin, who has played for Young Lions, Home United, Warriors and Balestier Khalsa said that he was speaking out now as he had “nothing to hold back” since he was “nearing the end of my career.”

PHOTO: Balestier Khalsa

“I have known players who are paid $300, and I know players who are getting $2000 plus,” he said.

He decided to call it quits when he was offered just $1200 a month to play.

He also took aim at a Singapore Premier League club without naming it, for asking questions which he felt were completely irrelevant during negotiations.

What’s your commitments? Do you have a girlfriend? Do you pay for your girlfriend when you go out? Where is your dad working? Where is your mum working? were some of the questions being asked during negations which he felt was a “very ridiculous situation.”

Main photo: Flickr

6 comments

  1. Just train hard work on your skills and fitness. Everyone knows that the standard in local football is not that high. So make yourself better than mediocre.
    Too many players don’t work on their diet, don’t think about a good night’s sleep, they try and cut corners on beep test.
    The better players are not getting ignored.
    Yes the U23 players allows the clubs to cut costs and in some cases offer over 23 players less salary. But this is not happening to the better players.
    If we didn’t have the U23 rule then maybe a different set of people would say we are not developing local talent.
    The YL Team don’t win much but they do beat some teams and are often competitive against the others.

  2. looking around the SPL how many of the players really want to better themselves? How many eat right, train right, sleep right etc? If you are a good player no club will only offer you $1200. In this instance this player who retired has not played many matches in the past 3-4 seasons so maybe he just wasn’t good enough. Offering a full-time adult player $1200 a month is a joke, yes, so make yourself so valuable to the league that they don’t offer you joke money. Do you think G Quek, F Ramli etc are being offered this type of money? Of course not because they are valuable players – so the money is there for those who work hard and have the talent, Daniel Bennet still playing into his 40’s!! do you think he is worried about the U23 rule spoiling his chances or deflating his wages. No way,..he’s just working hard to stay fit and stay relevant.

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