Ilhan Fandi Signs For Club In Belgium, Will Be 1st S’porean Footballer To Play There

Fandi Ahmad’s Son Ilhan Signs For Club In Belgium, Follows Footsteps Of Father & Brothers

Even non-football fans who’re Singaporeans would know who Fandi Ahmad is — the first Singaporean footballer to play in Europe.

Though he’s retired, Fandi’s sons have followed in his footsteps as footballers.

Now, third son Ilhan will also be spreading his wings abroad as he’s signed for a club in Belgium.

Source: Ilhan Fandi Ahmad on Instagram

In the process, he’ll become the first Singaporean footballer to play in the country.

Ilhan Fandi signs for club in Belgium till 2024

The big move was announced by his current football club, Albirex Niigata, in a Facebook post on Monday (12 Dec).

They said the 20-year-old had completed a transfer to Belgian second-division side KMSK Deinze.

Source: Albirex Niigata FC Singapore on Facebook

KMSK Denize also announced the signing on their website, adding that his contract runs till June 2024.

The striker will have the distinction of training with their A-team, but may also be deployed in their Under-21 matches.

Albirex also revealed that they’d forged a “comprehensive alliance” with KMSK Deinze with the aim of “expanding football business between Asia and Europe”.

More details will be unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday (13 Dec) at 4pm streamed “live” on YouTube.

Ilhan Fandi had a successful year

Ilhan has had a successful year, having scored 18 goals in 24 matches for Albirex despite joining them midway through the season.

Source: Ilhan Fandi Ahmad on Instagram

This culminated in Albirex winning the 2022 Singapore Premier League title.

Source: Ilhan Fandi Ahmad on Instagram

Ilhan subsequently won another honour — this time a personal one: the Young Player of the Year award.

Source: Ilhan Fandi Ahmad on Instagram

Thus, the move abroad caps off what may have been the biggest year of his life so far.

Ilhan’s father & brothers have also played abroad

In moving to Belgium, Ilhan is walking the path previously taken by his famous father and brothers.

In the 80s, Fandi Ahmad played for Groningen football club in the Netherlands, then at the top level of Dutch football. He also joined clubs in Greece and Malaysia.

Source: Fandi Ahmad on Instagram

Ilhan’s elder brothers Irfan and Ikhsan currently play in Thailand for BG Pathum United FC, though Irfan famously rejected a contract offer from Portuguese club Braga.

Ikhsan has played for football clubs in Norway, turning out for second-division teams Raufoss and FK Jerv.

Wishing him success during his time abroad

MS News wishes Ilhan all the best during his time in Belgium.

His family members’ experiences in playing overseas should stand him in good stead to succeed and thrive there.

May he also be an inspiration to other young Singaporean footballers who’re also looking to challenge themselves abroad.

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Featured image adapted from Ilhan Fandi Ahmad on Instagram and Instagram.

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