They were once some of the top footballers of their time. But even though they may have retired, football remains in their blood. Meet these ex-internationals and their next generation of young footballers - sons and daughters of former national players who are keen to go one better than mommy and daddy did.
Jeremy and Jaevis Chiang are giving the phrase “Like Father, Like Son” a new level of meaning.
Not only do they share the same surname, arrive for the photoshoot and interview in matching outfits, but as it turns out, they also have the same love for and approach to football.
Jeremy Chiang and his son, Jaevis Chiang, are like two peas in a pod. They are both defenders and share the same love for the beautiful game. Photo credit: Ng Chrong Meng
Chiang senior and junior are both defenders and believe hard work and dedication are key ingredients for success.
Former international Jeremy, who made his Lions debut in 2010, has featured for the national team against the likes of European giants Denmark. And the former Home United and Gombak United footballer, now a youth coach with ActiveSG Football Academy (AFA), sees parts of his former self in his son.
Jeremy‘s got his son every step of the way. Photo credit: Ng Chrong Meng
“I feel that Jaevis has the ability to read the game and anticipate the play,” said Jeremy, 38, of his son’s skills.
As a footballer, Jeremy’s ability to read the game made him a reliable defender. And Jeremy believes Jaevis has the potential to follow in his footsteps, if he works hard to improve his game.
Jaevis sees his dad as a role model and inspiration. Photo credit: Ng Chrong Meng
Said Jeremy: “Though at times he may not be able to execute what he intends to do, I believe that execution and technique can be trained. But reading and anticipation is natural.”
Jaevis has taken the first steps to following daddy by earning a callup to the Junior Development Centre, which serves as the primary high-performance centre for promising young male and female footballers. The JDC is an initiative under the Unleash The Roar! national football project.
Jaevis embraces the joy of play and the thrill of the game. Photo credit: Ng Chrong Meng
Said Jaevis, 11: “My dream is to play in Europe, and also to play for the national team and have more caps than my father!”
Jaevis’ introduction to football started as early as when he was only 2, when he would follow his mom and sister Sasha, who is now 13, to watch dad play in the S-League.
Creating lasting memories on the football field, one kick at a time! Photo credit: Ng Chrong Meng
Seeing how much he loved the game, his parents enrolled him in AFA when he was six. He progressed to AFA elite team but will now feature for the JDC Under-11 team.
Being both a coach and dad, which role does Jeremy see himself more as?
Beyond football, Jaevis, like all kids, yearned to have more the playtime with his dad. Photo credit: Ng Chrong Meng
Said Jeremy: “I am not the coach but the dad and Jaevis usually does not listen to me. But he listens to his coach well, and I trust that my child is in good hands, whoever is coaching him.
“Yes, I do share some of my opinions and tips at times, but I always tell him that he has a choice to listen and accept my feedback. Either way, I’ll always be encouraging of him and highlighting the good plays rather than the bad ones.”
Story by Mas Hidayat