Irfan recognises need for hard work

Irfan Fandi.
Irfan Fandi.

He may be the son of Singapore's most famous footballer, but Irfan Fandi is not having it easier than anyone else at Home United.

And the eldest child of Fandi Ahmad is well aware of the hard work he has to put in for a place in the starting XI, having signed for the Protectors early last month on a one-year deal.

Barely two months with his new club, and the 18-year-old former Young Lions stalwart has already seen plenty of difference between his old club and his current one.

The youngest player in the squad told The Straits Times on the sidelines of the club's season launch at HomeTeamNS Balestier yesterday: "The (Young Lions) prepared us so that we can (eventually) play for the national team.

"Here at Home United, you can see that we are playing to win the league... with everybody giving 100 per cent."

GIVING 100 PER CENT

If we work very hard, I'm pretty sure we can fight for the title. We have a dynamic squad which I think is really good.''

IRFAN FANDI, Home United striker, on his team's S-League title chances.

The 1.88m striker has had to tough it out with his new team-mates during the rigorous pre-season training, with double sessions every day.

Said Home chairman Anselm Lopez: "We have to be the fittest club in the S-League. I want our fans to recognise us because we are fitter than anybody else, not because of our jersey."

With key signings such as former LionsXII players Faris Ramli, Zulfahmi Arifin and Khairul Nizam, as well as retaining former German Bundesliga forward Ken Ilso, the team will hope to improve from last season's sixth-place finish.

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Irfan listed Tampines Rovers as the title favourites, but is upbeat about his team's chances of giving the Stags a run for their money.

"If we work very hard, I'm pretty sure we can fight for the title," he said. "We have a dynamic squad which I think is really good."

He will be hoping to play a part in their home opener against Warriors FC tomorrow, and to prove his worth rather than being perennially viewed as Fandi's son.

"(My team-mates) don't see me differently from anyone else, and I appreciate that," he said. "I don't want to be seen as somebody's son, I don't want any extra priorities, I want to earn the credit myself."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'Irfan recognises need for hard work'. Print Edition | Subscribe