Former DPMM FC man Ricciuto opens account in Tanjong Pagar debut

Fadhil Yunus

Former DPMM FC midfielder Blake Ricciuto marked his debut for new employers Tanjong Pagar United FC with a goal during the opening fixture of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) at the Our Tampines Hub in Singapore recently.

The 28-year-old nodded home a pinpoint cross from Shahrin Saberin to put his side on level terms against Geylang International in the 21st minute after falling behind through a Moresche penalty two minutes earlier.

However, Ricciuto’s debut was spoiled as the Jaguars eventually crashed to a 2-1 defeat with Brazilian debutant Moresche scoring the winner in the 74th minute.

As one of the foreign imports alongside Charlie Clough and Andrei Varankou, Ricciuto quickly became an influential player for DPMM FC during his time in Brunei and helped them win the Singapore league in 2019.

The midfield maestro bagged nine goals in 23 league appearances for the Gegar Gegar men and was voted the AIA Singapore Premier League Player of the Month and the Mitre Singapore Goal of the Month for April.

Former DPMM FC midfielder Blake Ricciuto celebrates. PHOTO: TANJONG PAGAR UNITED

The Sydney native was also named in the Singapore Premier League Team of the Year in the same season following his stellar performances at the heart of midfield.

He initially joined Spanish side Velez CF last year but a deal fell through before signing for Tanjong Pagar reportedly until the end of the season.

Tanjong Pagar, who replaced Warriors in the 2020 season, currently sit at the bottom of the eight-member league without a point to their name after three games.

The Jaguars are still chasing their first win since returning to the Singapore top flight after a five-year absence.

Meanwhile, reigning holders Albirex Niigata (S) are leading the title race on goal difference in the early stages of the campaign.

Local clubs in Singapore have made reinforcements to the squad as they looked to wrestle the title away from foreign opposition for the first time since Warriors FC’s triumph in 2014.

DPMM FC withdrew from the league this season due to travel restrictions impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. They also sat out the 2020 season due to similar reasons.