Irfan wants to try his luck in Europe as Bangkok Glass make offer
But eldest son of local icon Fandi Ahmad hopes to try his luck in Europe first
Irfan Fandi may have been pipped to the S.League's Young Player of the Year award last night by Balestier Khalsa attacker Hazzuwan Halim.
But the 20-year-old son of local football icon Fandi Ahmad could be headed for bigger things next year.
The lanky defender, who has had a sterling season with S.League title challengers Home United, has received an offer from the Thai league.
Irfan is in talks with Thai side Bangkok Glass, who finished fifth in the recently concluded 18-team Thai Premier League.
But the hulking 1.89m centre-back, who had also established himself in the first XI of the national team this year, is hoping to try his luck in Europe - just as his father did - before committing to a move to South-east Asia's top league.
"My dad and agent are still talking to them, and we are trying to work something out," said Irfan, a full-time national serviceman who will complete his NS next February.
"I still have plans to play in Europe, and the contract they offered is for more than a year... So I consider that long-term.
"If I am able to play professionally in Europe, that would obviously be the best case scenario.
"I don't want to be stuck here (in the region)."
Despite his lofty ambitions, Irfan admitted he was flattered by the interest from Bangkok Glass, whose last piece of silverware was the Thai FA Cup in 2014.
The Glass Rabbits have already secured the services of former S.League top-scorer Frederic Mendy from South Korean top-tier side Jeju United, and have also reportedly signed Home's 37-goal striker Stipe Plazibat for next season.
"I think I had a good season, but I did not think clubs overseas were interested in me," said Irfan.
"When I found out they were keen on me, I immediately looked up the squad and they have very good players... So I was shocked my name came up (as a target)."
I still have plans to play in Europe, and the contract they offered is for more than a year... So I consider that long-term.Irfan Fandi, on the offer by Thai side Bangkok Glass
Irfan is currently sidelined with an ankle injury picked up while playing for Singapore in an Asian Cup qualifier against Bahrain two weeks ago.
But he is working hard to return stronger next year as he hopes to forge a career overseas.
He said: "I'm still recovering from my injury but, to me, my pre-season has already started.
"I'm excited and looking forward to next year."
FAS Nite Roll of Honour
HYUNDAI PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kento Nagasaki (Albirex Niigata)
GREAT EASTERN YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Hazzuwan Halim (Balestier Khalsa)
RHB COACH OF THE YEAR
Kazuaki Yoshinaga (Albirex Niigata)
RHB TOP SCORER
Tsubasa Sano (Albirex Niigata)
MITRE GOAL OF THE YEAR
Huzaifah Aziz (Balestier Khalsa)
FBT REFEREE OF THE YEAR
HYUNDAI ASSISTANT REFEREE OF THE YEAR
SINGAPORE POOLS FAIRPLAY AWARD