Five Questions With Akhbar Ali

Akhbar (second from left) celebrating his goal against Kembangan United.
Photo: FAS National Football League

Aaron Chan
Writer / Editor
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

The 24 year old defender-turned-striker made a huge impression for Warwick Knights FC in the NFL Division 2 opening match last week when he scored a dramatic last minute equaliser to ensure that the spoils were shared with Kembangan United.

We posed five questions to the big man to find out more about his playing history, personal target and favourite team(s).

5 Questions with Akhbar Ali:

Q: When did you start playing for Warwick Knights FC and where did you play before joining the Knights? Could you tell us what are the positions that you play or played in before?

A: I only started playing for Warwick Knights FC from last season onward. Prior to that, the last team I played for competitively was the Balestier Khalsa Under-18s.

Position-wise, I am actually more familiar with the role of a centre back, which explains why I was pushed back into defence during the last 20 minutes although I started the match against Kembangan United as a striker.

Q: What is your personal target this season?

My personal target is definitely being able to score more goals as the season progresses since I am being deployed in a forward role now.

Q: Which team did you support when you were growing up and who was your inspiration for playing football? Do you have a favourite S.League team as well?

I grew up supporting Manchester United and it all started with the 1999 Champions League Final. I was impressed with the team's perseverance and self-belief. (Editor's Note: Manchester United won the match 2-1 with both goals coming from injury time.)

It just like how we (Warwick Knights) believed that we could get something out of that opening match against Kembangan. 

I wouldn't say that I have a favourite S.League team but I do have a little soft spot for both Warriors FC and Balestier Khalsa as these are the two teams I played for during my COE (youth team) days .

Q: Could you describe your feeling of scoring that magnificent last-gasp equaliser against Kembangan United in front of the Jalan Besar crowd and on a televised game as well?

It's always an amazing feeling to score a goal, especially one that came in the last minute (to change the fate of the game), not to mention an important one in front of the crowd at Jalan Besar Stadium. 

It's like you are dreaming except you aren't. All I wanted to do was to just run towards the bench and celebrate with everyone. The goal was made possible with the entire team's effort, from the ones on the pitch, to those who were on the bench, and, definitely the management as well.

Q: Here's a fun question; Who are the players with the worst hair and dress sense in the Warwick Knights squad?

I'm not too sure about that but if you asked me who has the worst beard I would say Arif Agus's beard has got to go. It annoys me somehow whenever I see it. Haha! (Arif is the custodian of Warwick Knights FC)

Arif is in the yellow top (Back row, 3rd from right) while Akhbar is standing beside the
Warwick custodian (back row, 4th from right)
Photo: Warwick Knights Football Club

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