Wanted: Fandi’s footballing sons.


melvin

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Jun 4, 2005
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#1
Fandi Ahmad’s footballing sons are wanted — in a big way. But perhaps, the much larger issue of whether they will want to don Singapore colours in time to come remains unclear.

The New Paper reports that after dazzling their opponents and scouts alike during an age-group tournament in England, Fandi’s sons, Irfan and Ikhsan, 13 and 11 respectively, are being courted by English Premier League giants such as Arsenal and Chelsea.

The two boys, both forwards, reportedly made a huge impression while playing for Arsenal Soccer School Indonesia during the International Soccer Festival taking place in Surrey.

Fandi told TNP: “So far, they played only one game. The team was so-so but as individuals, the boys were outstanding. Arsenal scouts offered a trial.”

Fandi said Chelsea and Reading scouts were also interested.

Both boys, who were previously on trial with AC Milan and Valencia, cannot sign schoolboy forms — the first step towards becoming a professional footballer in England — until they turn 14.

Dale Mulholland, director of coaching for SSI Arsenal, who has been coaching the boys for four years, told the same paper: “Ikhsan’s fast and swift – he’s magical. He had the English boys in the palm of his hand.”

But while it seems only a matter of time before Fandi’s boys sign on as football apprentices (Arsenal reportedly have first right of refusal), the larger question — if they do turn professional – is which country they would choose to play for?

While Singapore would be the obvious option, the boys’ mother, Wendy Jacobs, is from South Africa, making them available to play for the recent 2010 World Cup hosts when the time comes.

Speaking to The New Paper from London, Fandi, 48, said as much.

“Well, I don’t know, really,” he said. “Right now, it’s a bit too far to think about that.”

The former Lions skipper explains that National Service — the mandatory 24-month national service period that all Singaporean males must serve — is a major issue.

“NS is a problem, although I don’t want to say too much because it is a sensitive issue. When I was 16, Ajax offered to sign me but I had to tell them to wait two years (for me to complete my NS).”

Former Singapore star R. Sasikumar, the boys’ manager, elaborated: “You won’t be at the top of your game during that two years of your life in NS. At that age in football, you have to be in Europe.”

The other obvious question is – would the boys even want to play for Singapore? Realistically speaking, the national careers of both players would better be fulfilled if they were to represent South Africa, who despite failing to reach the second round of the recent World Cup, made a decent impression on the world stage.

To complicate matters, the Jakarta-based Fandi is also in talks with his former Dutch side, FC Groningen, about a coaching position.

As such, should Fandi be offered the job, it’s possible that Irfan and Ikhsan will join the youth academy that groomed the talents of superstars like Arjen Robben and Ronald Koeman.

Perhaps the only consolation is that Fandi — Singapore’s favourite footballing son — and his sons have plenty of time before making their big decision on whether they should play for the Lions.

But would you forgive him and his sons if they didn’t?



Source


So what you guys think where should they ply their trade?:think:
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#2
Singapore, sad to say, can't offer them the appropriate opportunities to showcase and groom their precocious talents.
In order to realize their potential, the only way is to ply their trade in an established football league.
 

kklee

New Member
Aug 13, 2004
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#4
The Sunday Times, Mar 1, 1998
By Shirlynn Ho-Pereira

Fandi Ahmad says,

"My advice to young players now is that if they ever get a chance, they should go to Europe and play their football.

Even if it means bringing the whole family over to support them. That's what I would have done. "


Source : http://ourstory.asia1.com.sg/dream/life/ref/bye3.html
 

pinholecam

Moderator
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Jul 23, 2007
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#5
They should really explore their talents elsewhere.
If they make it big that is a good thing for everyone.
 

foxwagon

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Mar 13, 2005
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#6
They should go where they can develop the full potential as good soccer players.
 

lamergod

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Feb 9, 2009
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#7
Singapore should implement a rule that says future sports bright talents can skip NS.

I would have chosen South Africa if I were them. Playing in African Cup of Nations and World Cup is huge.

But then again, they may be wanted by these clubs but how many percent actually qualifies to play week in week out in EPL. Would not be suprised if they end up playing in Championship.

But all the best to them! Hope they make it big time in Europe and we can have the deadly duo of whatever their surname is.
 

fotoudavid

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2005
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#8
Go to some where else which support them. Not here where support and action is different.
 

#9
i would be happy for them if they choose not to represent singapore... if im in their shoes, i would do the same...

I ditto that. Singapore's footballing frenzy days are behind already. Good thing it was my generation and I bear witness to that Kallang Roar. But hey...since govt always say go outside and make more success of yourself and bring fame back. Fine... let them bring fame back even if it means they play for another country and be well compensated for it.

In any case, it is not like Fandi and his kids are not taking a big risk doing so. But damn it.... they stand a better chance risking oversea then here. And we should hold them back? Fandi and his peers in those days has given us his best years playing for is and entertaining us. Let him give his sons their best.
 

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AdyH

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Mar 8, 2005
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#10
Guys .. food for thot.

Wen the table tennis team won the championship, half of e singaporeans claim they r china reserves. We say they r not singaporeans.

Now wen we have a true blue singaporean who have talent and great potential we are telling them to ply their trade somewhere else? Kinda contradicting dont u tink. We find foreign talent to represent us but wat we have we try not to keep them.

Frankly speaking i'm not against e table tennis team or fandi's kid. I wud wan my kid to b good at wat they do at a place that is most conducive for them. But y cant we do something abt wat's happening here in sg sports scene. Let them play for EPL or Spanish league but y cant they represent singapore? They shd shdnt they? Encourage them to explore the foreign league but they r singaporeans after all.
 

sbs99

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Jan 17, 2002
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#12
If they take up S.Africa citizenship, don't think they are liable for NS here. I would say they should, and explore europe and develop there. Not many kids over here can even have a whiff of opportunity, as its not conducive here, neither is there much focus here. Hype usually comes for a while then die down, on many sports iniative here. Pretty sad i should say.

Cant say that Fandi is being selfish if he made the choice to stick to europs/s.africa, he has to think for his sons, he did sacrifice his dream in the past. Im sure the country wont be selfish as to insist on on his sons' country representation in football. The NS thing is not the main focus i believe. Where was the hype when his sons were unknowns, and only when the papers starts the spotlight, been lots of calls for his sons "dedication to country", "serve ns compulsory" , calling them "traitors" and all sorts of baying for blood. Pretty unfair, imo.

In the end, the father will decide for them, not anyone else. Im sure many too would have the same sentiments, and wish him luck and all the best. Europe beckons! :thumbsup:
 

afbug

Senior Member
Aug 19, 2004
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#13
A good father must be able to make the correct decision for his young sons and Fandi, being in the industry for so long, doing so much and had prior experience should know what to do.

When football matters, there is no other place than Europe. He have to get his sons there and forget about them serving NS. Ultimately, life is about making a living and Europe is the place to be for football.

Fandi was a gem to SG football. It will be a plus if his sons choose to represent SG but the NS thingy will probably deter them.
 

synapseman

Senior Member
May 6, 2003
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#14
Easy.

If they are really that good, play for SA. We can always root for SA just like how the Thais root(ed?) for Tiger Woods. Fandi's kids can take up SA Citizenship, play for SA and in Europe while they are still in their prime.

Then when they get older, S'pore gahmen will still roll the red carpet for them to come back and play for the National Team.

And when they get REALLY old, they can still choose to play/coach in S-League. :p
 

greenieadi

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Mar 12, 2006
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#16
Bottom line is they don't owe us anything and I'll respect their decisions whatever it may be.

I will still look out for them if they chooses to represent SA. Already feel proud that Fandi's footballing instincts is passed down to his sons naturally.

Easy.

Then when they get older, S'pore gahmen will still roll the red carpet for them to come back and play for the National Team.
I think there is a FIFA rule that prevents a footballer from representing more than 1 nation in their lifetime. So if they already played for SA, no way can they play for our national team later.

Reminds me of Ryan Giggs in his younger days, he chose Wales over England.
 

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yqt

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2004
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#17
Much as I hate to say this, it is a diservice/wrong for sg to even ask any telanted young footballer to play for SG. Look at Fandi himself, he have given SG so much but he really shine only when he's playing in another country. NS is the only way the gov can use to disrupt their plan and ensure that you stay in SG and at the same time play for SAFFC. Just think how far Fandi could have gone if he don't have to serve NS.
 

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theRBK

Senior Member
May 16, 2005
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#18
let me just state out front that it is up to Fandi and his sons to make up their own minds, and we should hope for the best for them whichever way it turns out...

but on the other hand, the Fandi brood would be more useful marketing wise to the European clubs if they retained their SEA connection as they would then have a direct personal connection to the region and the fans in this region, which does not produce many players for Europe (are there even any at the moment?), and which has a good deal of economic potential to tap into... whereas African players are quite plentiful in Europe as it is...

this was not so much a factor when Fandi himself was in his playing days, but with the massive internationalising of football marketing and merchandising since then, this would probably be more of a factor for clubs interested in signing his kids... ;)
 

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synapseman

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May 6, 2003
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#19
I think there is a FIFA rule that prevents a footballer from representing more than 1 nation in their lifetime. So if they already played for SA, no way can they play for our national team later.

Reminds me of Ryan Giggs in his younger days, he chose Wales over England.
Ah yes, I forgot about that technicality.

But they can wait to lapse it out, right? But I think it's a very long period of time. Like how Tim Cahill used to play for Samoa as a kid and could not play for any other country for a while after that.

Anyway, it's okay. I already have a SA supporter's jersey! :bsmilie:
 

Gizmore

New Member
Jul 11, 2006
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#20
Ultimately, the local league is just crap isn't it when potential good players need to go abroad for development.

How i miss the good old milo soccer school where much for the 90s players came from.
 

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