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 By Kenneth Tan

Singapore's Irfan Fandi eyes overseas move, like father Fandi Ahmad

Singapore's Irfan Fandi discusses his preferred position and looks ahead to his side's Asian Cup qualifier against Bahrain.

After an excellent year with club and country, Irfan Fandi is looking to make further progress in his fledgling career once he finishes National Service (NS) next February.

The eldest son of Singapore legendary forward Fandi Ahmad, who was on the books of Chilean side Universidad Catolica as a trainee two years ago, is looking to follow in his father's footsteps of playing professional football overseas.

Fandi, of course, is well-known for scoring against Italian giants Inter Milan while playing for Dutch side FC Groningen in 1983.

"I've been training really hard... Once I finish NS, I will most likely try to go overseas to trial and get a contract," he told ESPN FC. "My dad is a big name in Singapore. I just want to do good and carry his name well."

Trained as a forward in his younger days, the strapping 20-year-old is now settled and excelling in his new role as a centre-back for Home United and Singapore.

Irfan Fandi vs. Mustafic Fahrudin in S.League
Irfan Fandi has played 32 games for club and country in 2017, despite NS commitments.

Irfan has already played 32 games this term -- 24 for Home and eight for Singapore, an impressive feat considering that he is not a full-time footballer yet.

His competitive Lions debut came in the gritty 0-0 away draw against Bahrain in March and he has not looked back since.

He has started all nine Singapore's games, and scored his first international goal in the 2-1 away defeat to Turkmenistan last month.

He is looking to end the year off on a good note as Singapore play their final two games of the year against Lebanon on Thursday and Bahrain on Nov. 14.

"2017 has been a really exciting year for me," said Irfan, whose brother Ikhsan is also in the national set-up.

Singapore head coach V. Sundramoorthy hopes a warm-up against Lebanon and playing at home will propel his team against Bahrain.

"[Centre-back] is a brand new position for me and it has done me wonders, resulting in a call-up to the national team.

"I can say I played a decent season for Home. My strongest position now is centre-back, but my passion for playing as a striker is still there. So if coach needs me there, I will be happy to play there.

"For the upcoming two games, I'm just looking to give my 100 percent. Hopefully, everyone's on the same note and ready to give their best."

Kenneth Tan is a Singapore-based football writer on S.League and AFC Cup for ESPN FC and FourFourTwo. Twitter: @KennerveT

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