3 things you don't know about Izwan Mahbud

Do you think you know all there is to know about Izwan Mahbud? FFT spoke to Singapore's No.1 to learn some things that aren’t common knowledge – including a surprising revelation about his early training days.

Izwan Mahbud is back in the S.League, having signed a contract recently to join up with the star-studded Tampines Rovers line-up. Here are some things you probably didn't know about the budding superstar.

1. I’m a family man

I love my family a lot. Even though I occasionally quarrel with them, I love them a lot. They’ve supported me all the way through and without them, I'd be nowhere.

There are my parents, I have a brother and two sisters – an older one and another younger.

In terms of having my own family, my career is slowly going up right now, so I’m a bit scared that it will go down if I switch focus now.

But of course, I’d like to have my own family at some stage.

2. I used to play basketball and sepak takraw

With sepak takraw I wasn’t very good, but I was in the best three teams at school. I was playing both sepak takraw and football at one stage but ended up giving up the former to focus on football.

Basketball was more casual. I watch a lot of basketball, usually the NBA Finals.

The Finals series last year were great, Golden State winning against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Steph Curry is a great player.

When he was young, Izwan had an issue with training

3. I didn’t use to enjoy training!

I used to miss training sessions when I was about 15. At that time, I didn’t see football as a career. I was in the National Football Academy under coach Kadir Yahaya.

If there was one week of training, I would skip around four days. I’d play futsal instead in my neighbourhood. But I got in trouble. Kadir called my parents!

Straight after training my mother and father were waiting with Kadir and I just sat quietly.

I was taking a lot of Medical Certificates (to skip training). At that age I just wanted to be with my friends, so I’d call and say I couldn’t make training because of schoolwork.

It would happen often. It went on for about a year.

The team was already in place and familiar with each other. One day, I went in for a trial but didn’t have any friends and felt left out.

They (the other players) were talking to me, but I didn’t feel very close to them. I was very quiet.

After that incident, I made up my mind and chose to see football as a career and treat it with the right importance.

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo