Former DPMM FC star joins Tanjong Pagar United

Fadhil Yunus

Former DPMM FC midfielder Blake Ricciuto has penned a deal with Tanjong Pagar United for the upcoming season in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) in 2021, the club announced recently.

The club, who ended a five-year absence following their return to the Singapore top tier last season, said of their acquisition, “Tanjong Pagar United is happy to announce the signing of Blake Ricciuto.”

It added, “The 28-year old Australian is a box-to-box midfielder who will add dynamism to our play in 2021.”

Ricciuto played a key role in DPMM FC’s title triumph last year with a series of stellar performances at the heart of midfield.

His displays gained recognition from the Singapore football community as a recipient of the AIA Singapore Premier League Player of the Month for April and his sumptuous strike against Balestier Khalsa was named Mitre Goal of the Month.

Ricciuto was also named in the AIA Singapore Premier League Team of the Year during the FAS Nite 2019, an awards ceremony honouring the players who have produced top performances.

Former DPMM FC midfielder Blake Ricciuto. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRIEMIER LEAGUE

Ricciuto – of Australia and Uruguay descent – was a mainstay for the Gegar Gegar men with nine goals in 23 league appearances.

The Australian received interest from Europe as Spanish fourth tier club Velez FC announced his arrival before the start of this season.

However, administrative delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic meant that he could not join the team for the 2020/2021 season.

Ricciuto began his senior career with St George FC and went to Canadian Soccer Club on loan from Penarol in the Uruguayan Segunda Division.

He returned to Australia and made a name in the National Premier League NSW for Rockdale City Suns FC before moving to the Sultanate before the start of the 2019 season.

Ricciuto’s imminent return to the Singapore top flight has spurred excitement among fans with some hailing his addition as a “good and solid signing”.

His arrival will be seen as a major boost for the club that finished bottom in the eight-member table this year.

The Jaguars have also strengthened with the additions of veteran Khairul Amri and Japanese forward Reo Nishiguchi with Luiz Junior set to remain with the club next year.