Football fans welcome Fanskick app

I’ve never been surrounded by so many footballers before. But here I am with footballers and their club officials, at the event for the official launch of the nation’s latest football mobile application, Fanskick, by President of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), His Royal Highness Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.

Guests in the front lobby, making their way into event hall
The front lobby of the Persada Johor International Convention Centre is literally bursting with footballers and their associates from 23 clubs, as they mingle together munching snacks, while waiting for the event hall doors to open.

I live walking-distance from the Larkin football stadium which is also known as Home of the Southern Tigers, and often say I’m so close to the football action that when they shout, “Goal!” I can hear it from my house!

My grandfather’s family made a name for themselves in sports and I grew up being familiar with the nation’s sports heroes who were my uncles’ and aunt’s contemporaries.

With the legendary, Datuk Santokh Singh
While my Uncle Arthur introduced me to football through his regular viewing of soccer – the original name for football in England – on television, I soon learnt to identify the various English football clubs.

Fast-forward to my nephews, who grew up watching the English Premier League which brought me closer to their favourite clubs. And to the rise of Johor’s own, the Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club (JDT), where I soon learnt to appreciate our own club with pride.

Throughout their college and university years, my niece and nephews wore their JDT jerseys (often asking me to help them buy the latest designs!) that proudly identify themselves as Johorean and ardent JDT fans.

They are also my source of info for fixtures especially home games, to prepare me for the usual rush of traffic in my neighbourhood, particularly when some fans choose to park their cars in front of our house!

Aidah with football hero, Datuk Santokh Singh
As my friend, Aidah, and I wait with our media friends for the time to enter the event hall, we scan the scene trying to identity whom we recognise from which football club. And then we spotted a familiar figure!

He and his former team mates were the inspiration for a successful local football film in 2016, Ola Bola that featured the trails and personal stories of members of the Malaysia national football team which successfully qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics.

It’s none other than the legendary Datuk Santokh Singh.

Datuk Santokh was a player with the national football team in the 1970s and 1980s, along with the late Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun and R. Arumugam.

He also represented Malaysia in the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran where his team won Bronze and in 1977 and 1979, his team captured Gold in the South East Asian Games.

The launch ceremony where User No. 00001, His Royal
Highness Major General Tunku Ismail was
logged into the Fanskick app!
I’m familiar with these games in which my Aunt Sylvia represented the nation for badminton, mostly because I remember the lovely souvenirs she bought for me from her trips! (I was just a kid back then!)

So I approach Datuk Santokh to introduce myself and seek his permission for a photo so that I may show it to my aunty.  The gentleman graciously agreed to pose for a shot.

He has an instant recollection of my aunt, Sylvia Ng, and tells me to convey his regards to her. I explain that I grew up in grandfather’s house which was located nearby, and followed sports, including football, while my aunt and uncles achieved much in sports for the nation.

When it’s time to enter the event hall, the football clubs are ushered in team-by-team with a battery of cameras trained on them and the scenes flashed on the huge wall screens.

Fanskick Dot Com, CEO, Farouk Mustaffa [Right]
and its General Manager, Nazri Ahmad [Left]
with a preview of the Fanskick app on a smartphone
All eyes are on the teams as the pair of Masters of Ceremony chat with familiar talents and drum up further excitement with their jokes and comments.

Aidah and I avoid the Blue carpet laid out for the guest-of-honour and quickly find our seats at the Media table.

We watch with fascination as the evening unfolds for the exciting launch of the much anticipated one-stop center for local football fans – Fanskick – an app officially endorsed by the FAM and the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership.

“Made for the fans, by the fans,” is the catch-phrase which describes this user-friendly smartphone app that offers a range of entertainment and services at users’ fingertips.

Among the key features are convenient Tickets Purchase where fans need to only flash the QR code on their mobile phones at the stadium entrance for smooth entry.

Users will also receive the Latest News plus updated Statistics and Fixtures on their favourite players.

Through its Buddy System, which comprises Story, Forum and Live Chat, fans will join an online chat community to get closer to their favourite players.

In addition, the FK Manager is a football management simulation game where users will be given the opportunity to virtually manage their favourite local league team.

More importantly, this mobile app offers Live Streaming of games where users can enjoy watching games that are not shown by traditional broadcasters.

The Malaysia Book of Records representative [2nd from
Left] presenting the certificate of achievement to
His Royal Highness Major General Tunku Ismail
The launch gimmick was a simple ceremony where His Royal Highness Major General Tunku Ismail was logged into the Fanskick app as its first user, with the prestigious user number: 000001.

This launch, witnessed by the event guests from the wide screens, was also witnessed by Fanskick Dot Com, Director, Datuk Sahul Hamid, its CEO, Farouk Mustaffa and FAM General Secretary, Datuk Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin.

When the app available on Google Play and App Store, goes live on Jan 19, Fanskick aims to garner one million users by the end of 2018

The Fanskick app is available Free-of-Charge while the Buddy System has an annual subscription fee but is Free-of-Charge for the first year from its launch.

Aidah and I were surrounded by a hall-full of footballers!
[Photo Credit: Lek Kah Meng]
After the launch event, Fanskick Dot Com, CEO, Farouk Mustaffa and its General Manager, Nazri Ahmad gave a brief press conference and a preview of the mobile app.

“By understanding what an avid football fan looks for in terms of convenience and entertainment, we came up with a set of fantastic features that target users aged 12 and above,” said Farouk.

“We also aim to provide a seamless web of connection between the fans and key players, which is aligned with the vision of the FAM President to revolutionise Malaysia’s football scene,” he added.

But this is not all. While the Fanskick app is an official News Portal, it is also an online platform for fans to purchase Official Merchandise from the local teams and clubs.

To top it all, this historical event was accredited by the Malaysia Book of Records as the largest gathering of football clubs for Malaysia’s Super League and Premier League in an event!

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