As we come to the mid-way point in the season, let’s take a look back at how our FAA All Stars fare after the first round of games in this season’s ESPZEN Division 9. The boys started the season with a daunting task, playing for the first time against a team of expats in the form of Deportivo Lions, who were much bigger and aggressive than what the boys expected from the previous season. A couple of goalkeeping mistakes saw FAA soundly beaten in their first game of the season.
The second game saw the boys come back from two goals down to win in a ten goal thriller as they swept aside bottom place KPMG FC 4-6 to kick start the season. FAA kept up the performance by winning 3-0 against FC 92 before being brought down to earth by current league leaders Paix FC, going down 3-1, showing their inexperience and questioning the team’s credibility in challenging for honors in the division 9.
The loss to Paix FC, was quickly forgotten the following week as the team played a blinder against a superior Royals FC and won 2-0 which saw a graduation of the Under-14 players playing in their first game for the senior side. The boys shot themselves in the foot in a three all draw against Homewest United FC, despite dominating the game and creating lots of chances. The draw opened the gap further between the league leaders and left the team in a dog fight in mid table for the second spot with the likes of Deportivo Lions, Sporting Olympique and APFC ahead with just a three points the difference between the fifth place FAA All Stars.
A heated match between FAA and Sporting Olympique FC saw the boys sink to their third defeat of the season after poor communication between rookie goalkeeper, Syawal Said and his defence allowed the Sporting Olympique to nick in a solitary goal in an otherwise a poor match overall. A Mothers’ Day fixture saw FAA on the right end of another ten goal thriller in the defeat of Westlanders United with a brace from Irfan Fandi and a late winning goal from P. Saravanan preventing Westlanders of a chance for a dramatic late equalizer. But the roller coaster season continued for FAA as their inconsistent form resulted in their fourth defeat to a last minute winner from APFC despite coming back brilliantly in the first half to reduce the early two goal deficit.
With just nine more games to go, the FAA All Stars will face a telling season whether they will sink in the face of challenge or they will go into a siege mentality and push themselves up the table to earn a second straight promotion up the division ladder. Here are the players who will play a key part in the team’s fortunes:
Irfan Fandi: Currently the topscorer of the team with seven goals to his name including two hat tricks in the three games he has played so far, the telling statistic shows his importance to the team as the team did not lose a game with his presence in the side.
Rohit Bhojwani: A fairly consistent player and ever present in the side, this newcomer has quickly risen to be a key contributor in terms of goals and assists. His menacing runs down the left wing and his play shows his maturity and knowledge in the game despite his tender age of 15 years old.
Aarulselven Tamilselven: With a season under his belt, Aarul is considered a senior player in the side and his energetic display on the pitch helped galvanize his team on occasions to give their best. But his lack of maturity to the game still showed on occasions when he wasted a couple of good chances to score.
Ashok Kumar: A versatile defender who has played everywhere along the back line and a player who is ever present in the team’s line up. Tend to be injury prone, but his dedication is second to none.
Firman Noorkim: Another player with a season under his belt. He had a good spell in midfield in the previous season. Firman showed his form in the early parts of this season, chipping in a couple of goals but a mid season slump saw him desperately needing to find his motivation to shore up his performance over the course of the season.
For all FAA All Stars A-15 fixtures, results and league table, please click here.
Brief description: The FAA All Stars is fully sponsored by the Fandi Ahmad Academy where the best of the A-15 players are selected to represent in the league. While the academy will try its best to give all players equal playing chance there is also a need to maintain the balance and strength of the team. No player is guaranteed a place in the team and everyone should work hard in the training session and strive to be selected.