Ferns: Playing for Malaysia would be a great honour

As fans continue to call for more footballers with Malaysian roots to "return home", another half-Malaysian footballer has surfaced. Meet Curran Ferns from the Land Down Under...

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What can you tell us about yourself?

I began my development years at Monash City FC in Melbourne before being fortunate enough to be selected by the Victorian Institute of Sport in 2009. I then went on to play in the National Youth League for first Melbourne Victory and then Melbourne City, before joining Hobart Tilford Zebras FC in the National Premier Leagues. I am currently playing for Brisbane City.

What position do you play?

I usually play as a defensive midfielder, but I am also comfortable playing as a centre-back or a right full-back.

With his team-mates at Brisbane City FC

We understand that you're a half-Malaysian from your mother's side. Tell us more about her.

My mother was born in Johor Bahru and later grew up in Penang until late teens. When she went to Australia to pursue her education in the 1980s, she met my father at her university. She’s also the niece of the late Karpal Singh, making me his great nephew.

How Malaysian would you say you are?

I am obviously a half-Malaysian by heritage, but I have been brought up with strong Malaysian values and culture at home, so I feel very comfortable being Malaysian.

Did you visit Malaysia a lot as a kid?

I only spent holidays in Penang when I was very young, so I don’t remember much. Furthermore, I spent most of my junior years on football development and going on football tours around Australia and Europe in off-seasons, so I did not get too many chances to come. My mother and older sister have visited more often.

We understand that you will be having trials at a few Malaysian clubs in the next few weeks. Feeling nervous?

I'm actually excited because a player is always filled with excitement when having a football trial. You always want to do well and be valued as a player by potential team mates, coaches, club officials and supporters.

Catching up with Scott Ollerenshaw and fellow half-Malaysian Darren Lok

Other mixed Malaysians on the radar

Does that mean you will give up your Australian citizenship to play for Malaysia?

Of course, playing for Malaysia would be a great honour. I do not hold a Malaysian passport at the moment, but I am hoping to be part of the Harimau Malaya in the near future.

When did the idea of playing in Malaysia become feasible to you?

I have been very keen on playing in Malaysia for over two years now. I made some enquiries and eventually made contact with Scott [Ollerenshaw] who offered to assist me.

How well do you know Malaysian football?

Only from what I have seen on the Internet. Malaysian football seems very attractive and attacking in style, which is why I enjoy watching it when I can.

We currently have Australians-turned-Malaysians Brendan Gan and Matthew Davies playing in the Malaysian Super League. Do you know them or contact them prior to coming here?

I only know Gan from his time playing in the A-League, but don't know either player personally.

Speaking of Gan, he has been unhappy about the lack of Vegemite in Malaysia. Will it be an issue for you?

I love my Vegemite, so I’ll have to make sure I bring a supply over!

(Pictures: Hobart Tilford Zebras F.C./Facebook, Brisbane City FC/Facebook, Scottollernshaw/Twitter)