Gear up for Singapore Sports Hub Festival of Football with soccer icon Fandi and Young Lion Ikhsan

One father-son duo is especially thrilled that there's finally a festival that puts football up front and centre stage — veteran national player, or many may say "local football legend", Fandi Ahmad and his second-eldest son Ikhsan Fandi.

Carving time from his busy schedule as the Head Coach of Young Lions to sit down with HERE TO PLAY, Fandi reminisced fondly about the countless times he had played at the National Stadium back in the 1970s and 80s.

"You could call those times the golden years of football. The stands were full, painted in red, and the love for the game and support for footballers were apparent in the Kallang Roar and the Kallang Wave," says the now-55 year-old, looking back. "Hopefully now that this spanking new stadium has been declared Home of the Lions, that enthusiasm and strong support for the team will slowly return. I can vouch that this immense support makes a footballer wants to perform better on the field."

Young Lions' attacking midfielder Ikhsan, 19, looks forward to experiencing the atmosphere described by his father and coach. "I've trained and played at several stadiums before, but of course the excitement that comes from playing on a world-class pitch such as this is more intense," says Ikhsan, who not too recently completed his National Service. "My dad has given my brothers and fellow team mates a lot of great advice which I tend to heed including this: Stay humble and you won't stumble," lets in Ikhsan. "So I believe him when he raves about the pride and passion one can derive from playing here."

"Well you should," chimes in Fandi. "Nothing beats the feeling of playing and scoring at the National Stadium, on home ground, with the support of thousands of Singaporeans behind you."