By OH ING YEEN
Photo by AZMAN GHANI
AS A football player, 15-year-old Tam Sheang Tsung has been looking forward to the World Cup.
Tam goes on record as the first Malaysian to play in the J-League when he joined the Division 2 side Yokohama FC.
Tam, who is currently playing for the Sagan Tosu JC, was at Menara Star recently for an interview. He was accompanied by his mother Ang Hui Chin.
He spoke in Japanese and a smattering of Mandarin, which his mother helped to translate into English.
England supporter : Tam’s dream is to play in the World Cup in the near future.
He was surprised and happy to see the flags of all the participating countries in the ongoing World Cup hanging on the walls and ceiling of The Star’s editorial department. Tam was also pleased to get his hands on a copy of The Star’s World Cup pullout.
“ The World Cup craze in Malaysia is the same as in Japan, ” he said.
He was especially excited when he saw a poster of one of his favourite players Frank Lampard. He is also a fan of Didier Drogba.
“ Lampard has stamina and has a knack for scoring goals while Drogba has good techniques and physical strength and is a good striker.
“ My favourite football club is Chelsea. I support England but I think Brazil may have a shot at winning the World Cup this time around, ” he said, adding that he hopes to play in England.
Tam, who turned 15 last month, has been catching the World Cup action with family and friends.
Although Tam finds the vuvuzela trumpets annoying, he feels that it adds to the atmosphere.
As a footballer Tam said he is more critical when watching the game.
“ I learn a lot about football from him, such as terms like ‘ offside ’, ” said his mother.
Tam was back in Malaysia to attend to family matters. More-over, he was also out of training after sustaining a rib injury during training.
According to Ang,they normally return to Malaysia three or four times a year but this time around they returned after almost a year because of Tam’s busy training schedule.
“ Not much has changed since the last time I was here, but I’ve noticed some positive improvements.
“ I’m looking forward to eating Pan Mee and drinking iced Milo. Milo is not commonly available in the supermarkets in Japan, ” Tam said.
Off the field, Tam likes singing and listening to music, citing Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Japanese girl group AKB48 as his favourite stars.
On orders from the doctor to keep away from playing football due to the injury, Tam admitted to have secretly played a game or two.
Because of his passion for the game, football is always on his mind.
When asked if there is anything he would like to do in Malaysia, he said: “ I hope to be able to have a friendly game with Malaysian players of my age group. ” Turning around he assured his mother that he was fit to play despite carrying an injury.
Last weekend, Tam celebrated Father’s Day by going out for a family dinner.
Like all aspiring footballers, Tam’s dream is to play in the World Cup in the near future.
“ I hope to play in the World Cup one day. ”
- The Star -