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Reaching his goal

Nabilah Ismail


Published: 18 March 2015, 1:41 PM

Irfan Fandi Ahmad is kicking his way back to home shores to play in the upcoming SEA Games.

Irfan and his younger brother Ikhsan took some time off to play football with kids and to show off some of the skills they picked up in Chile at CIMB’s Junior Soccer Fiesta last Saturday. The two eldest sons of Fandi Ahmad mixed around with kids who shared the same enthusiasm for football as they did.

The two prodigies imparted some basics and a nifty trick here and there to the kids.

IKHSAN AND IRFAN GUIDING THE KIDS

It was impossible not to notice Irfan’s towering height of 1.86m and it was hard not to feel puny standing beside the guy.

Youth.SG caught up with the really tall 18 year-old footballer to get a gist of what his experience in Chile was like.

“The first notable difference that I experienced was the weather, it was really cold and I had to get used to it right away and during training, it felt like I was kicking a rock,” said Irfan.

THE WEATHER HE GETS TO ENJOY PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/IRFANFANDI17

It did take some time for him to adjust to the rigorous and intense training in Universidad Cotalica.

When asked about his fondest memory in Chile, Irfan said “probably the very first training, because it was so different that I didn’t know whether I was playing football or just running around the playground.”

Nevertheless, he learnt how to up his game both physically and technically while playing for Universidad Cotalica and received good commendable comments from the coaches in Chile.

Irfan has a daily routine that is set in stone. He goes to the gym for an hour or two, trains on the field for another two hours and is completely drained by the time he reaches his home in Chile. Despite this, he was constantly motivated by his guardians who supported and inspired him during his time there.

THE VIEW IN CHILE PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/IRFANFANDI17

Irfan returns to Singapore every four months and on special occasions such as Hari Raya.  With four younger siblings, he must have had felt their absence while he was away in Chile.

IRFAN AND HIS FAMILY ON HARI RAYA PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/IRFANFANDI17

“We’ve all been travelling since we were young and I’ve been to South America, Brazil and Argentina so it’s kind of normal,” explained Irfan.

What he does miss most when he is away however are his friends and he makes full use of his time while he is here in Singapore by chilling out with his buddies, both off and on the field.

We asked him about his pre-game preparations and apparently, Irfan might act a little silly before every game just to calm his nerves.

“I’m probably the weirdest one [before a game] because while all my teammates are serious, I’ll be laughing with my best friend, the goalkeeper named Zharfan, and we’ll be joking and stuff.”

Now that he is back with his teammates in Singapore, Irfan will be playing in the S-League to gel with them before going on to represent Singapore in the 2015 SEA Games.

The young striker has made a name for himself after being listed in the Top 40 best young talents in world football in 2014. He was of course ecstatic about the achievement but pointed out the fact that it was only motivation for him to work even harder.

In addition to this accomplishment, he also scored goals against Japan and Syria during international friendly games. He is certainly on his way to fulfilling his dreams of playing professionally in Europe.

“Hopefully I play well in the SEA Games and am able to sign a contract when I get back to Chile.”

IKHSAN, IRFAN AND CIMB CEO AT THE JUNIOR SOCCER FIESTA

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