Brunei Darussalam star forward Faiq Jefri Bolkiah has officially joined Ratchaburi FC ahead of the start of the Thai League 1 season for 2023-2024, the club announced recently.
Faiq’s arrival signalled the club’s reinforcements for wingers in preparation for the new season as they look to improve on their eighth-place finish last season.
The new signing said, “I am excited for the new challenge and very happy to move to this club and I hope to lead the team to the top three spots in the upcoming season.” It will mark the Bruneian’s second club in the Thai top flight having previously laced up for Chonburi FC as he made the switch from European football to Southeast Asia.
The former Brunei captain recently ended his stint with the Sharks after spending two seasons having scored twice and made numerous assists in 31 appearances.
Faiq, who will wear number 77 on his jersey, joins former Ivory Coast international Giovanni Sio, Madagascar international Njiva, Philippines international Jesse Curran and former Algeria Under-23 player Mehdi Terki among the arrivals of new foreign players this season. Since making the move to the Ratchaburi province, he has been actively attending training and gym sessions under the guidance of newly appointed head coach Carlos Pena.
He made his first appearance for the club during the 1-0 defeat to Indonesia outfit Persija FC during a pre-season friendly match at the Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium.
The 25-year-old made history as the first Bruneian to represent an overseas club in a top tier international league when he came off the bench to make his debut against Muangthong United in January 2022.
Last November, the former Chelsea and Leicester City youth player carved his name into the country’s record books after becoming the first Bruneian goal-scorer for a foreign club in a first division professional league.
Faiq scored the only goal in a solitary 1-0 win over Port FC to help his team to second place amid the battle for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League qualification. The 2007 league winners eventually finished the season sixth in the table, with Faiq announcing the end of his time with the club.
Faiq could make his league debut for the Dragons during their season opener against PT Prachuap FC away at the Sam AO Stadium on Sunday. – Fadhil Yunus