The Dominion Post

Singh poised to earn Bayern promotion

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He may have signed for the club’s reserves, but Sarpreet Singh looks set to spend his first season with Bayern Munich as a fully fledged member of the first team.

Despite signing with Bayern Munich II, who play in Germany’s 3.Liga, Singh has trained predominan­tly with the first team since his arrival on a threeyear deal and he has already chalked up five appearance­s throughout their preseason campaign, playing in each of their matches at the Internatio­nal Champions Cup and Audi Cup.

However, according to All Whites great Wynton Rufer, the first Kiwi to play in the Bundesliga, Singh is set to be promoted to the first team on a fulltime basis, with his recent number change a clear giveaway.

The 20-year-old was unused substitute during the German Supercup match between Bayern and rivals Borussia Dortmund on Sunday, when he sported a new number on the bench.

Singh was initially given the No 31 for Bayern II but he wore No 42 in his five pre-season appearance­s. However, yesterday he was seen wearing No 28 – and Rufer said there was a good reason for that.

‘‘He actually confirmed that to my wife Lisa over Instagram this week that he is going to be staying with the first team and training there,’’ Rufer told TAB Trackside Radio.

‘‘The number change is a clear indication from Niko Kovac, the coach, to keep him in the first team squad which is just unbelievab­le and just great news for all of us in New Zealand.’’

Ahead of Sunday’s match, which Bayern lost 2-0, Kovac spoke glowingly about Singh and said the former Wellington Phoenix youngster would be given first team opportunit­ies subject to his progress.

‘‘Singh is someone we originally planned for the second team but what he showed in America and in the two games at the Audi Cup in Munich shows that he is a lot further [along] than some of the other players in the second team,’’ Kovac said.

‘‘So without a doubt he will get the opportunit­ies. It depends on his further progress to play in the first team . . . but I’m very happy with him and I’m surprised, I’m positively surprised and I’m happy about his developmen­t.’’

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