After giving up his Australian passport for a Malaysian citizenship, Brendan Gan now has a Malaysia cap in his sights. We sit down with the Kelantan midfielder for an exclusive interview…
“So, what happened to your ‘stache?” Gan's laughter immediately echoes around a small room inside the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium. He strokes his stubbled face with his hand, as if his moustache is still there, and simply replies: “I looked good, didn’t I?”
We are, of course, referring to the infamous facial hair the Kelantan midfielder sported when he was introduced as part of the 2014 squad in an official unveiling ceremony in November last year. This is despite not having the proper clearance yet from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) back then (more on that later). If Gan was aiming to create an unforgettable first impression, he certainly succeeded. However, according to him, it was just a case of being at the right place at the wrong time as he shares with us the story behind the now legendary whiskers.
“I have always had a great passion in getting involved with charity and giving back to the community, and I was doing it for Movember in Australia, where men grow their moustaches to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues,” he explains. “It just so happened that I was growing it during that ceremony.
“Normally I would have got rid of it, but I thought by doing so it would defeat the purpose of Movember. So, I decided to keep it and be proud of it. It was actually good since I got to raise awareness in Malaysia as well.”
Anyway, we did not travel all the way to Kota Bharu just to talk about his Van Dyke. We want to know more about this young lad, who has become a subject of interest to most Malaysian football fans ever since he, a mixed Malaysian, was revealed to be playing professional football in Australia.