First Singaporean woman to play professional football in Japan: Siti Rosnani Azman

Former Republic Polytechnic Student and 2017 FAS Player of the Year (Women's Premier League) makes history

Image credit: Football Association of Singapore

3 September 2021, Singapore - Singapore national women's footballer Siti Rosnani Azman has signed a one season contract with Japan's International Athletic Club (IAC) Kobe Leonessa.

In so doing, she becomes the first Singaporean woman to play football professionally in Japan, and will feature in the new Women Empowerment (WE) League - Japan's first professional women's football league.

Image credit: @WomensFootballInSG / Instagram

24 year-old Rosnani had previously travelled to Australia to represent semi-professional club side South West Queensland Thunder, and made 31 appearances for the club before her plans were brought to a premature end as the COVID-19 pandemic halted the National Women's Premier League in 2020.

The Republic Polytechnic graduate becomes only the second Singaporean woman to play football professionally after Lim Shiya, who represented Perth Glory FC in Australia's first division from 2008 to 2009.

Image credit: Republican Post

She told the official FAS website: "I am very honoured and thankful for this rare opportunity to train and compete in Japan. I believe this experience will push me outside of my comfort zone to grow as both a player and an individual.”

Rosnani's signing for the Japanese club was facilitated by the Football Association of Singapore as well as Albirex Niigata Singapore’s Mr Shu Namba and Ms Suzanna Foo, who connected her with the director of INAC Kobe.

Stephen Ng, head coach of the Singapore Lionesses, was proud of Rosnani's achievements, sharing: "I have seen her play and know that she is a key, reliable defender for the Lionesses. It is a great feat for Rosnani to play in Japan and I am thrilled to see her efforts recognised."

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