My Weekend: Fandi Ahmad spends it cycling and relaxing with family

Football coach Fandi Ahmad (above) likes to catch up with his family over cycling or meals on the weekends.
Football coach Fandi Ahmad (above) likes to catch up with his family over cycling or meals on the weekends.PHOTO: COURTESY OF FANDI AHMAD

My Weekend is a weekly column in the Friday edition of Life!

Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad, 52, is the LionsXII coach and ambassador for this year's Movember movement. He will be at Robinsons The Heeren tomorrow from 2 to 4pm to shave to commemorate the first day of Movember.

The annual charity initiative encourages men to keep moustaches for a month in November to raise funds and awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancer.

Fandi lives in a condominium in Seletar with his wife Wendy Jacobs, 40, and three of their five children - Iman, 14, Ilhan, 11, and Iryan, eight. Their elder sons - Irfan, 17, and Ikhsan, 15 - are in Chile training with professional football club Universidad Catolica.

"W eekends are for relaxing and spending time together as a family.

On Friday evenings, I have an alumni meeting and football match at ITE Central. As I am a sports ambassador and alumnus of ITE, I also go back to coach and give motivational talks.

Sometimes, we play against the younger boys in the school team to give us old men more of a challenge.

Nowadays, I play football only two to three times a week. It's more for fun and to keep fit.

I enjoy cycling too and would ride with my kids during the weekends. We will cycle around the Seletar Hills neighbourhood, Ang Mo Kio and Jalan Kayu.

I prefer to cycle on the pavement than in the park as there is more to see and my kids can learn how to handle their bikes along the roads.

After my match on Friday, I usually have dinner with the other alumni nearby before returning home.

I like to watch some TV before sleeping. My favourite shows are Law & Order, which I have been watching for many years, Law & Order: SVU, CSI: Miami and New York. Sometimes, I watch The Voice.

I make an effort to sleep before midnight every day. I used to sleep by 10pm during my peak football days, but now, I can afford to sleep a bit later.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings or afternoons, I take Ilhan and Iryan to football training with the F-17 Academy.

We head out for dinner as a family on Saturday evenings. One of the places we like to go to is Plaza Singapura as it has many food options such as Nando's, Fish & Co and Pizza Hut.

Sometimes, if there are good movies at the cinema, we would catch one in Plaza Singapura, Shaw House or Great World City.

I like action films, especially if Denzel Washington is in it. He is a terrific actor. The last film we watched was The Equalizer, which stars Washington.

If the movies are too violent for my younger children, we will let them watch a more kid-friendly one at the same cinema.

On Sundays, we visit my mum in the evening. She lives in Yishun with my sister and her family. She cooks our favourite dishes such as sambal goreng, mee siam and rendang.

Even if we don't have dinner at her place, we make sure we visit her every week.

On weekdays, everyone is busier so it is important to be together during the weekends.

We don't have to do anything in particular, but what matters is that we come together, whether it is for meals, to go out or just catch up."

Gurveen Kaur