BY Fadhil Yunus
Brunei Darussalam star Faiq Jefri Bolkiah’s stint with Leicester City Football Club has come to an end after he was released by the club upon the end of his contract at the end of last month, according to British newspaper Leicester Mercury.
The Premier League has published a released list of players submitted by the 20 participating clubs as well as players that have been offered a contract extension until the end of the current 2019/2020 season.
The Brunei international ended a four-year spell with the English Premier League outfit, having featured mostly at the youth setup in Europe.He left the club without making a single appearance for the senior side since moving from Chelsea FC to Leicester in 2016, following the signing of a three-year contract which was extended for a year last summer. During his time in East Midlands, Faiq logged in five appearances in the UEFA Youth League in the 2016- 2017 season and contributed to the team with one assist.
He is one of eight players that have not been retained which also include under-23 captain George Thomas, Viktor Johansson, Conor Tee, Ryan Loft, Rhys Davies, Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu and Justen Kranthove. The winger left the club with the under-23 side sitting in second place in Premier League 2, three points adrift of incumbent league leaders Chelsea. The 22-year-old, who played for the national team on six occasions with a goal to his name, also spent his youth playing for Arsenal, Reading, Southampton and AFC Newbury.
He became the talk of the town when he played for Arsenal in the Lion City Cup in 2013, scoring the opening goal in the 2-1 win over Singapore National Football Academy (NFA) Under-16. After making an impression, Faiq was awarded a scholarship to play for Chelsea in 2014 and made numerous appearances for the under-18 side.
His progress in England earned him selection in Brunei’s under-23 national team, who competed in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore in 2015.
Faiq made his international debut the following year in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship qualification round during the 2-1 victory against Timor Leste at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
He scored his first goal for the country in the 4-3 defeat by Laos in the third group stage match of the AFF qualifying round.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin