Despite his hectic schedule coaching LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League, Singapore's favourite football son Fandi Ahmad still has a passion for developing grassroots football particularly with kids (photo by Bryan Goh/SSC).
By John Yeong
In football the best players appear to make putting the ball into the back of the net seem like an easy task, but mastering the skill of finishing under a variety of scenarios and different conditions is an art that does not come naturally to every footballer.
Our team made a trip down to ITE College Central recently to ask Singapore's very own football legend Fandi Ahmad just what makes finishing such a highly valued skill in football. In his hey day, Fandi's predatory instincts around the 18 yard box gave him the edge over his opponents, often helping him to score goals out of nothing.
"Not everyone has the instinct," said Fandi. "The best strikers are all able to play with their back towards goal but still know where the goal is, how big it is, how far they are from the goal and rely on this visualisation to score goals."
That all sounds well and good you might say, but what about the rest of the football fraternity, the average social footballer, how can you better your skill so as to enjoy your weekend kickabout more?
Here Fandi serves up a few tips on how you can improve your finishing: from volleys
, to headers
and penalty taking – all with the signature trademark scoring style of Singapore’s favourite football son.
Watch our Football 101 video here and learn how to score with Fandi's famous volley and header from a few simple tips!
The Art of Finishing
"So what key attributes do you look for in a good finisher in front of goal?" we asked.
“Accuracy, technique and power are all important in finishing. But most important of the three is technique. Many players go for power but sacrifice technique,” said Fandi.
“When it comes to volleys, players need to be constantly on their toes and concentrate on their body posture and keeping the ball low when they strike the ball.” This is done by hitting the ball in the dead centre as much as possible, and not under the ball which would sky the volley.
Having a good leap is essential when it comes to headers, and the same concept for volleys can be applied to headers from an attacker’s perspective.
Fandi added,“To score headers, you need to get higher than the ball and direct it downwards. That is a striker’s header. So you need a good leap, and most importantly to keep your eyes open.”
We know Fandi can score goals, but can he score with his eyes closed? Check out Fandi's Blindfold Penalty Challenge in this video below.
While admitting that he isn’t the best expert to provide advice on penalty taking, Fandi did have some important tips to give nonetheless.
“Never look at the goalkeeper. Pick a side, either left or right then focus on it and stick with your decision.”
“The other thing to look out for is to either strike the ball high or to hit it low into the corners of the goal, but avoid hitting the ball at mid height which would be much easier for goalkeepers to save.”
Watch our exclusive interview with Fandi as he talks about the upcoming Lion City Cup, and his thoughts on his son Irfan making his debut in representing Singapore.
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Interested in football and want to hone your skills with the best? Or perhaps you are a parent wishing to expose your child to the beautiful game?
If your answer to either of the above is yes, then ActiveSG Football Academy is the place for you to be at. Led by former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric, and five head coaches with experience from the highest level of football in Singapore: Richard Bok, Robin Chitrakar, Hyrizan Jufri, Mohamad Hairil Amin, Isa Halim, and Steven Tan, ActiveSG Football Academy has a holistic football programme designed to build character and impart the right skills while encouraging trainees to pursue their sporting passion with the right attitude.
To find out more or sign up for the academy, visit this link here.