Ikhsan Fandi, aiming to 'make a name for myself' in Thailand, scores 3 goals in 3 games
Striker Ikhsan Fandi has made an instant impact at his new club BG Pathum with three goals in as many games for the Thai football champions.
In an interview with the club's media, the 22-year-old Singaporean declared: "I want to make a name for myself in the Thai league, show what I am capable of and show I can fight among the best in the region, even with the foreigners, and score as many goals as possible to support the team."
BG Pathum had wanted to shore up their scoring options and Ikhsan needed more playing time, so he joined the Thai League 1 side on a 21/2-year contract from newly promoted Norwegian top-tier side FK Jerv in December.
"I have been in Norway for three years and I needed something fresh," said Ikhsan.
While he admitted to not knowing much about Thai teams, he did not take long to make his presence felt.
His first appearance on Jan 8 lasted all of 24 minutes and Pathum were held 1-1 by Ratchaburi .
But he has played full games since, poaching a brace in the 4-1 League Cup win over Songkhla on Jan 12 and netting again with a lovely combination of control, turn and finish in the 2-2 draw against Muang Thong United on Sunday (Jan 16).
After 17 games played, Pathum have 29 points and are fifth in the 16-team league, six points behind leaders Buriram United, who have a game in hand.
Ikhsan's inclusion and form will be crucial in helping his team narrow the gap as they push to qualify for the Asian Champions League.
He said: "My debut was good. I was a little bit nervous to be honest before the game but when I started to warm up, I felt more comfortable.
"Three goals in three games now, I think it's good. I want to keep going because one of my personal goals is to be more consistent in my performances so I want to keep scoring goals, provide assists, and most importantly, winning games with the team.
"I don't know so much about the teams in Thailand which makes it more exciting for me. We go into every game trying to win each of them. I just want to win games. If I score, that's a bonus."
Having insider knowledge helps, and that comes in the form of elder brother Irfan, a 24-year-old centre-back who has been at the club since 2019.
"My brother told me it's a really intense and competitive league. He gave me some expectations of what I should know and how I should go about in the league," said Ikhsan. "I'm adapting really well, I think I fit in to the team really smoothly. The players are really friendly, so it makes it easy to gel off the field and on the field as well and it shows in the games."
Still in his early 20s, the man with 25 caps and 11 international goals is keen for opportunities in bigger leagues.
In an earlier interview with The Straits Times, he said: "I'm still young and I still have ambitions of playing in a top league in Asia or Europe. I will continue to work hard to establish myself at BG in order to achieve these goals."