Brandon Koh: Not afraid to catch up

By now, residents in a particular corner of Pasir Ris would have grown used to seeing him sprint up and down the length of his HDB block.

Since the start of the year, 18-year-old Brandon Koh has put in the extra work on his days off in a bid to improve his speed.

The winger, a nominee for The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award this year, plays for the National Football Academy (NFA) Under-18s.

He is striving to improve himself as he pursues his football dream.

Speaking to TNP last week, Koh said: "My asset is speed - whenever I play in matches overseas, I try to compare my speed with other players.

"This year, I wanted to achieve more - in addition to scoring more goals, I wanted to try to run faster, so on my days off, I would go sprinting to improve on my speed."

The Temasek Polytechnic biomedical sciences student has been making up for lost time, after focusing on his studies last year.

FOCUS ON O LEVELS

Koh, who was part of the team who won bronze at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games here in 2010, said: "I didn't play too much football last year because I was focusing on doing well for my O Levels.

"It paid off. I scored 10 points and got into my dream course."

The extra training this year has also been paying off, after he turned in some eye-catching performances this season.

He scored two goals in Singapore's 3-1 victory over Brunei in an Asian Football Confederation U-19 Championship 2014 qualifier last month.

Said his coach, Dejan Gluscevic: "Brandon is equally capable on both feet and is able to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates with intelligent, well-timed movements on and off the ball.

"Defensively, he is also one of the best among our forwards and, together with Muhaimin Suhaimi, probably the best flank player.

"He also assisted and scored goals in important games in the Prime League and contributed greatly to the NFA Reds' success."

Regardless of who wins, Brandon believes the nomination will spur him on to greater things.

He said: "I hope to play for the national team by the time I turn 21 or so."


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