S-League: Ang Zhi Wei overcomes rejection to make football dream a reality

Woodlands Wellington footballer Ang Zhi Wei (left) keeping watch over Albirex Niigata's footballer Kento Nagasaki (with ball)

SINGAPOREI knew I wanted to be a footballer when...

My uncle took me to watch S-League matches in 1996. I was seven at that time. The memory that stands out most is of the excitement in the air and the spectators cheering. The atmosphere was electrifying.

But the reality is that spectators also jeer at players. It was hard to stomach at first when I experienced spectators hurling insults at me, but I've learnt to take it in my stride. It's all part of being a footballer. checked

I focused all my energy on football when...

At 13, I was rejected by my secondary school's basketball team. I didn't get through the trials. My height was one of the factors. It was a blow to me as I was the basketball captain at primary school.

I decided to focus on football instead as skill and speed counted more than height. The turning point was when I faced another rejection due to my size. I went for youth player trials for the now defunct Sembawang Rangers but didn't make the cut.

But I decided to take matters into my own hands and gatecrashed the training for the shortlisted players. The coach must have forgotten that he had rejected me. I was very afraid of being found out so I kept a low profile and didn't speak to the other players.

The club held a second round of selection - I passed and joined the youth team. Nobody knew about my gatecrashing.

When the club closed in 2005, I joined the National Football Academy until I was 19. From there, I went to the Prime League before getting my first contract as an S-League player last year I would be working in a marketing-related job. I have a diploma in business studies and I am currently pursuing a degree in marketing.

My secret "vices" are...

I love telling jokes. I crack so many corny jokes when I am with my friends that they often beg me to stop.

I also like to sleep a lot. When I have nothing to do, I can take many naps throughout the day. My friends ask me why. I tell them it is because I need to recuperate after training.

My idea of food heaven and hell is...

Tom yum soup is my favourite because I like the spicy and sour combination.

I hate kiwi fruit. When I was young, my mother gave me a lot of kiwi fruit to eat. But when I was in primary school, I developed an allergy to it. My throat got itchy and I couldn't swallow. It felt terrible and the experience led to my fear of kiwi fruit.

My dream girl is...

Someone with a good heart. She must be outgoing and chatty. I don't like quiet girls. She must be able to endure my corny jokes.

Continuing our series the profiling S-League players to watch, this Woodlands Wellington midfielder reveals how he overcame rejection to make his football dream a reality

Fast facts

Country: Singapore

Birthday: August 2, 1989

Age: 23

Height: 1.65m

Weight: 60kg

Club: Woodlands Wellington, joined 2013

Position: Midfielder

Jersey number: 20

Essential item: My wallet.

Best feature: My eyes. Ithink they are alluring.

Ideal getaway: An eating spree in Taiwan and Korea.

Celebrity crush: Ana Ivanovic. She's pretty one of the top-ranking tennis players.