Football: ActiveSG coaching role for mellow Alam Shah

Noh Alam Shah, seen here in Tampines Rovers colours, captained Singapore, and won three S-League titles and AFF Championship titles in 2005 and 2007.
Noh Alam Shah, seen here in Tampines Rovers colours, captained Singapore, and won three S-League titles and AFF Championship titles in 2005 and 2007.TNP FILE PHOTO

Former striker says he has found a fresh perspective on his passion for the game

Conversations with his five children were awkward every time they watched replays of matches in which he lost his cool on the field.

Why, they asked, did their father, former national footballer Noh Alam Shah, act that way?

Rather than justify his behaviour, the ex-Lions striker decided to use those hot-headed moments "as examples of what not to do in life and I also told them to take away the positives from the videos, like how passionate I was when playing."

The 36-year-old hopes to impart similar lessons to other youngsters as he takes on his new role as coach of the ActiveSG Football Academy, which is led by his former Tampines Rovers team-mate Aleksandar Duric.

Alam Shah told The Straits Times yesterday: "I made a lot of mistakes as a player and I think this is a way of giving back.

  • ACTIVESG FOOTBALL ACADEMY - THE SEVEN TRAINING CENTRES AND THEIR HEAD COACHES

  • ISA HALIM (BEDOK STADIUM)

    • Geylang International captain

    • Former head coach of Geylang's Young Eagles soccer academy

    TERRY PATHMANATHAN (CLEMENTI STADIUM)

    • Former national captain

    • Former head coach of 2009 SEA Games bronze-winning Under-23 team

    HYRIZAN JUFRI (JURONG EAST STADIUM)

    • Holder of an Asian Football Confederation Pro Diploma licence, the highest coaching qualification offered by the continent's ruling body

    • Academy coach at Singapore Sports School

    STEVEN TAN (KALLANG FIELD)

    • Part of the 1994 Malaysia Cup-winning team

    • Former Tampines Rovers coach

    ROBIN CHITRAKAR (QUEENSTOWN STADIUM)

    • Former Courts Young Lions coach

    RICHARD BOK (SERANGOON STADIUM)

    • Won four S-League titles (2006-2009) as head coach of Singapore Armed Forces FC (now known as Warriors FC)

    • Won RHB Singapore Cup three times (2007, 2008, 2012)

    HAIRIL AMIN (WOODLANDS STADIUM)

    • Head coach at Nanyang Polytechnic, Ang Mo Kio Secondary School

"I want to convey to the kids that the most important thing they can learn in life is to be disciplined and professional, which I only learned in my last few years of playing in the S-League."

During his 19-year playing career, Alam Shah became one of the region's top forwards - he is the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup's all-time top scorer with 17 goals - but was also known for his various disciplinary issues and volatile temper.

He received a seven-month club-level ban after he kneed opposing defender Daniel Bennett in the head and knocked him unconscious in the 2007 Singapore Cup final. He was also sent off 11 times in 12 club seasons from 1998 until 2009.

Yet the 2005 S-League Player of the Year was an inspirational figure on the pitch as well. He captained the Republic, won three S-League titles and the 2005 and 2007 AFF Championship titles.

It is this combination of a winning mentality, leadership skills and passion that Duric believes will be an asset to the ActiveSG Football Academy, which is open to kids aged six to 16.

The 46-year-old said: "Alam Shah is one of the greatest players to have played for Singapore and as much as people judge him for being an aggressive player, I know him as a fantastic person and player who can give a lot back to the younger generation of footballers.

"He can teach the kids a lot about how to be good sportsmen and they will be privileged to be coached by him - I'm happy he is joining us."

Alam Shah retired after the 2015 S-League season and currently works full-time at the car rental division of Komoco Motors.

He will coach students every Sunday and on two Saturdays each month at the ActiveSG academy in Kallang Field, where his former national team-mate Steven Tan is head coach.

Alam Shah quipped: "(Tan) used to assist me with so many goals; now I can assist him (as a coach)."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2017, with the headline 'ActiveSG coaching role for mellow Alam Shah'. Print Edition | Subscribe