COE FutureStars: Jerald's leading the way
In the first of a series on some of the potential stars in the Centres of Excellence, Nuramin Abdullah takes a look at SAFFC captain Jerald Tan.
“Disciplined and shows quality leadership, committed and hardworking,” is the assessment from his coach.
Qualities that are often bandied about the likes of national team skipper Aide Iskandar, SAFFC veteran V Selvaraj or Home United stalwart S Subramani.
But in this case, the words come from SAFFC U18 coach Razif Onn - and they are in praise of his team's captain, 18-year-old defender Jerald Tan.
While many local coaches are wary about hyping up their young players, Razif has no qualms about recognising Jerald's contribution, largely because of the rookie's own level-headedness.
"Jerald is fast, aggressive, shows good reading of the game and can command," said Razif.
"He’s committed and disciplined and I think that’s the most important thing.”
The second-year Nanyang Polytechnic Mechatronics student has been juggling academic studies and football, like an increasing number of aspiring young footballers these days.
He explained: “Normally I will study first and complete whatever homework that I have before I go for training. When I return home, I’ll have my dinner and then go to sleep.
"The next morning when I go to school, if there's time I will do some revision.”
The staple diet of many teenagers - junk food - is a stay-away area, while Jerald trains on his own to maintain his fitness if he misses any session with the Warriors.
It's a disciplined routine in preparation for a professional footballer's life. "I think I can make it (in professional football), but I've still got to work hard for it," he said.
Name: Jerald Tan
Date of birth: 15 July 1987
Jersey No: 17
Position: Central defender
Favourite Player: Paolo Maldini
Favourite Team: Barcelona