Coach Philippe Aw has told FourFourTwo he would have no fear thrusting Fandi Ahmad’s sons Irfan and Ikhsan into the starting line-up for Home United this coming S.League season.
Aw, who was similarly unafraid of blooding defenders R. Aaravin, 19, and Shahrin Saberin, 20, for the first team last season, told FourFourTwo: “For me, It’s not about the name, it’s not about the age, it’s about the ability.
“If they are good enough, they are old enough. They have been very good in training, so at certain times in the season, they could feature in the starting line-up. I have many talented young players, I have Mahathir Azeman as well, so we need to pick the right time to play these young players.”
The two boys, Irfan, 19, and Ikhsan, 16, have impressed not just the coach, but also their teammates. Danish striker Ken Ilso, Home United’s top-scorer last season with 13 goals, was very complimentary about the new signings.
“They are eager to train. They have their working gloves on, if you can say it like that,” he said. “So I like them a lot. They are bringing in a lot of power and speed into the team so I am looking forward to linking up with them and hopefully, they can complement me and I can complement them as well.”
For now, the two brothers are just focused on improving their game.
Irfan knows there is a lot of competition for places and says hard work is the key to earning opportunities in 2016.
“We are just going to work really, really hard because there are a lot of good and experienced players here,” he said. “And if we get a chance, you can be sure we will give it our best.”
Ikhsan felt his game had already improved in the short time he had been with the Protectors.
“It’s been a real privilege learning from the senior players like Juma’at (Jantan) and Zul (Zulfami Arifin),” the teenager said.
“We have only been training with the team for a short time, but my game has already improved, so I think it has been a good move for us.”
Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwocomments