Singapore vice-captain Hariss Harun knows he is in for a tough season ahead at Spanish third division club L'Hospitalet but is ready to work hard and make best use of the opportunity, while being out of his "comfort zone".
The 26-year-old midfielder, who secured one-year loan move from Malaysia Super League giants Johor Darul Ta'zim to the the Segunda Division B club, left for Spain early this morning from Singapore, according to The Straits Times. Hariss also expects to hit the training ground as early as possible and play his part at L'Hospitalet, who are reeling at 18th spot in the 20-team league and are in danger of relegation. The team, which plays its home games at the Municipal Feixa Llarga stadium, has been winless in its last three outings and will take on Saguntino in its next game on Sunday.
Hariss has now become the first Singapore footballer to ply his trade in Spain and will join the likes of big names - V Sundramoorthy and Fandi Ahmad in the list of Lions, who have played outside Asia. The valuable experience in the Spanish league, where reserve side of top-tier clubs like Barcelona and Villarreal play, is expected to help him ahead of the Lions' Asia Cup qualifiers campaign.
Ahead of all that the work that awaits him on the pitch, Hariss wants to make himself well-equipped to interact with his teammates by learning the local language as well. The Lions midfielder revealed that a new language will help him in the long term and that has already spoken to some of Spanish-speaking coaches and teammates.
"Spain is a good place with a strong football culture. Even though I am playing in the third tier, considering that the top teams' reserve sides are playing here, the competition will be tough. Hopefully I can help them in some way and do some good stuff," Hariss said, as quoted by the news daily.
"It is a lot of hard work and learning. There will be ups and downs and I will be completely out of my comfort zone... but I know there will be a lot that I can learn as a person and as a football player.
"I am definitely going to make a big effort to pick up as much [Spanish] as I can. It will be a useful life skill to have and the onus is on [foreign players like] me to learn the language and I hope the effort will endear us to the local players."