Singapore striker arrives on trial

Last updated : 12 July 2005 By Rob Davies
Shah comes with an excellent record from his native league, having scored 15 goals in 16 games this season for top S League club Tampines Rovers.

And, after recent speculation on the NCM messageboard, the pacey Singapore international touched-down in England today and will immediately start training with the Magpies, hoping to impress Notts boss Gudjon Thordarson enough to earn a permanent deal with the Magpies.

The talented hitman was recently voted one of the best players in Asia and has longed for a move abroad for a considerable amount of time. To say he is highly-rated in Singapore would be a vast understatement.

Where's 'yer ark?
The move has come about due to the fact that manager of the Singapore national team, former Notts County goalkeeper Raddy Avramovich, has maintained good relations with non-executive director Howard Wilkinson since the pair worked together at Meadow Lane.

It is believed Avramovic has told Wilkinson that he believes Shah is already good enough to cope with the rigours of League Two football.

"A lot of people have worked very hard to make this possible and I am going there to try my very best," Shah told a press conference in his native Singapore.

"It's the dream of a lifetime. I am very excited about this chance for sure and I hope to achieve something out of this trip."

One worry for the striker had been his lack of height, with the 25-year-old standing at just 5'8. Fortunately though, the blossoming worldwide reputation of last season's top scorer, Glynn Hurst, has re-assured Shah that it can be done.

"I've had a look at their (Notts County's) website and guess what? Their top scorer from last season (Glynn Hurst) is the same height as me.

"They've got some very tall defenders but it's quite encouraging to know that even someone who is as tall as me could do well there."

Should the trial at Meadow Lane prove unsuccesful, Shah shouldn't be too concerned. Portsmouth, Norwich City and Coventry are all thought to be monitering the hitman.

As well as Shah, Avramovic is also believed to have recommended goalkeeper Lionel Lewis, though a possible move for Lewis is likely to come much later, with next summer a possibility.

Should the striker sign for the Magpies on a permanent basis, he would become the seventh first-team frontman at the club, with Andy White signing for Gudjon's men in the past week.

If nothing else, Shah's trial has ensured that Notts County is a name now frequently used in both the national Icelandic AND Singapore media. Spread the word: We're on the up!

For any update's on the Shah story, be sure to check back to NCM.