Australian Blake Ricciuto has scored his eighth goal in 14 games as the defensive midfielder signed from the NSW NPL blitzes the Singapore Premier League with the ladder-leaders Brunei DPMM.
In his first season in the Singapore league, the 26-year-old former Rockdale Suns midfielder was on the scoresheet again on the weekend.
The Aussie drove home a low volley against Warriors to extend his side’s lead to 3-1.
But Brunei was left with 10 men after a red card and hung on for a point in a 3-3 draw, cutting their lead at the top to just a point.
Ricciuto has been a smash in the league, after coming in from the semi-pro NPL in Sydney.
He earned the accolades with a player of the month award for April and one of his long-range goals was voted most popular by fans.
Three of his eight goals have been from range and with his fitness, the Aussie is proving a hit as a box-to-box role midfielder.
And impressively for a deep-lying mid in a 3-5-2, he is now joint-second on the goalscorers charts in the Singapore Premier League.
The question is: how did the A-League not see this talent?
Ricciuto spent three years in the NPL before his move to Asia at the start of 2019, and barely registered on A-League scouting reports.
Not that Ricciuto is worried.
“Working as a professional has been amazing for my career. Each day I’m able to work on my finishing, my fitness, and my overall game to become a better player,” Ricciuto told FTBL today from Singapore.
“Whereas when I was in the NPL, I didn’t get the chance to train full time.
"And in the NPL back home there are lots of players working so hard to get their chance in the professional game.
“A-League clubs might not want to take a risk, but it’s not much of a risk to bring in an NPL player. Economics is not an issue and you know they’ll give it their all.