The Lion City Sailors have unveiled Dutch midfielder Bart Ramselaar as the club’s second signing for the 2024/25 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season. This exciting addition comes as the club looks to launch a serious assault for their second-ever SPL title, while excelling on the regional front in Asia’s second-tier club competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League 2 (ACL2).

Joining from Dutch Eredivisie side FC Utrecht for an undisclosed fee, the 27-year-old comes onboard the Sailors on a contract that runs until the end of the 2025/26 campaign and will provide the attacking zest to complement the defensive solidarity brought to the side by Toni Datković, the club’s first signing of the off-season.

Bart promises to bring a new dimension to the team’s attacking third as he looks to form a dynamic partnership with fellow PSV Eindhoven alumni Maxime Lestienne.

It was with PSV where Bart rose to prominence as a technically supreme midfield playmaker. Winning the 2017/18 Eredivisie title with the Dutch giants, he also progressed through the national youth age-groups, before making three international appearances for the Holland senior side. 

Bart then returned to Utrecht – the club where he made his professional debut in 2015 – and enjoyed his most productive season in the 2021/22 campaign with nine goals. He made 11 appearances in the ongoing 23/24 Eredivisie season and scored in a 2-0 victory over Go Ahead Eagles in December 2023, before making the move to Singapore. 

Photo courtesy of FC Utrecht

“Bart is a fantastic addition to the team with his speed and intelligent link-up play in the final third. I’m already looking forward to seeing how he can complement the likes of Maxime, Shawal Anuar and Richairo Živković to give us an even better attacking threat,” said Sailors Head Coach Aleksandar Ranković, who worked with Bart in the 2022/23 season when he was still Utrecht’s assistant coach. 

Singing from the same hymn book, Sailors Sporting Director Badri Ghent added, “Bart is a top talent in Holland, so we’re understandably excited as a club to attain his services. At the age of 27, he still has many good years ahead of him, and we hope that this will be the start of a long and fruitful stint with the Sailors. 

“We want to continue challenging for all honours and take concrete steps forward in our aspirations to become one of Asia’s top clubs in the future, and I’m confident his signing will help accelerate this process.”

Bart – who brings UEFA Champions League experience from his time with PSV – joins a squad brimming with European pedigree, alongside Richi, Maxime, Toni and Rui Pires. And he is already champing at the bit to start his new adventure in the Lion City.

“I’ve played my whole career in Holland, so it was always one of my targets to prove myself in a foreign league one day. I’m really intrigued by this new challenge in Singapore with the Sailors. The club is building a great project here with a clear direction from the Academy up to the First Team. This is something that I very much want to be part of,” he emphasised. 

“I’m here to help the team with my experience and hopefully play some nice football that can get more fans into the stadium. The goal is clear – I want to be a SPL champion here and help the team qualify for the knockout stages of the ACL2.”