Dollah Kassim Award: Marc unfazed by comparisons with his father Steven Tan
Steven Tan's son finds it a breeze swatting aside comparisons
He top-scored for the national Under-15 team this year, plundering seven goals in eight games.
So, it probably comes as a surprise that National Football Academy (NFA) U-15 striker Marc Ryan Tan was not interested in football at all as a young boy, preferring to scale walls as a rock-climber in primary school.
This fact becomes even more remarkable when you consider Marc's father is famed former national striker Steven Tan, dubbed "super sub" for his goalscoring exploits off the bench as part of the Malaysia Cup-winning side of 1994.
The 15-year-old sheepishly admitted he only learnt about his father's footballing legacy by accident.
Said Marc: "I only found out when I was 10. I opened one of the cabinets and saw all his trophies, so I asked him about them and he told me."
That was also when Marc's godmother pressured him to go for a trial held by the Football Association of Singapore.
"I was actually very reluctant to go, but she was persistent and eventually I just went and got selected," he said.
"I went for the training sessions every Saturday and it just so happened that at the same time, my dad became the technical director of a football academy that was just formed, so I went to train with him, too."
Sometimes, people will say that I bring a bad rep to my dad's name, but I don't take them too seriously.Marc Ryan Tan
Just two years after picking up the sport, Marc grabbed the headlines in 2014 after he scored a whopping 17 goals at the Gothia Cup, also know as the World Youth Cup.
And last year, he was selected to go on a 10-day training stint at the academies of English clubs West Ham United, Stoke City and Charlton Athletic.
Despite his personal growth as a footballer in recent years, 2017 has not been an easy year for Marc, and his national U-15 teammates.
The Cubs performed poorly in the AFF U-15 Championship in July, finishing bottom of a six-team group after losing all their games. Two months later, the team struggled in the AFC Under-16 Championship qualifiers, suffering heavy defeats at the hands of Japan (11-0) and Malaysia (6-1).
Critics pointed to the results as a damning indictment of the state of Singapore's youth teams, but Marc believes the only way to win back their faith is through hard work.
He said: "There are so many teams we've played against that we can learn from.
"Football is a team sport, and with every defeat, we just have to keep encouraging each other to get back on our feet and work harder."
Marc has also had to deal with brickbats on social media, especially given the inevitable comparisons between his father and him.
But he coolly said: "Sometimes, people will say that I bring a bad rep to my dad's name, but I don't take them too seriously.
"I've always looked up to my dad because he's been there, done that.
"There will always be this talk about my father being Steven Tan, so I've always looked at it as a good thing to (make myself) work even harder and make a name for myself."
- Name: Marc Ryan Tan
- Team: NFA U-15
- Position: Striker
- Date of birth: Jan 18, 2002
- Height: 1.62m
- Weight: 54kg
- Favourite team: Manchester City
- Favourite player: Alexis Sanchez