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Faris Ramli: My life during Ramadan

By Neil McCormack

We talk to Faris Ramli, the tricky Home United and Singapore winger, who very kindly tells us how he manages to fast and train on days when he has training and on match days.

“On the days when I have training, I usually wake up at 4.30am for Sahur (pre-dawn meal). This is usually a simple meal of rice, eggs, and chicken prepared by my wife. I also have an isotonic drink like 100plus.

I finish eating by 5.30am and have my morning prayers which start at 5.45am and lasts for about 10 minutes. After that, I go back to sleep at 6 am and wake up again around 11.30am. I normally check my phone to see if I have anything I need to do. If there’s nothing to do, I just relax.

My wife works at different shifts so assuming she’s on the afternoon shift I give her a ride to work at 3.30pm and I then head for training which starts at 5 pm and lasts for one and a half to 2 hours.

The training is tough even during Ramadan. Three to four days before a match we have high-intensity training but the day before a match the training is of low intensity, as I need to prepare my body for the match.

Once training ends, I do my stretches and warm down exercises. I usually have an ice bath one or two days before a game. Some players even have hot and cold baths as this helps to contract and expand the muscles.

At the end of training, it is time to breakfast (iftar). Some players do head home, but Home United does prepare food for the Muslim players. For example earlier this week Home United had a breakfast session for all the players.

This Friday (23 June), Home United are playing Albirex Niigata so I’ll try to sleep early the day before. I wake up at 4.30 or 5 am, send my wife to work assuming she does the morning shift and then I’m back home at 7 am and sleep again until 12.45 pm.

I go for Friday prayers at the Mosque near my house. Once I’m done with it at 1.45pm, I go back home and sometimes try to catch up on sleep by having a 1-hour power nap. If I decide not to sleep, I just relax by watching TV.

All the players meet at Jalan Besar Stadium at 6 pm. We have a meal at the stadium. Some players do bring their own food but Home United does provide food for us like dates, chocolate bars, curry puffs and energy drinks like H20 as well as Milo and water.

Me and the boys start warming up at 7.45pm for half an hour (S.League matches during Ramadan start at 8.30pm). Back in the dressing room, the coach gives us his final briefing before the match starts.

At the end of the match, we have our debrief and warm down by the side of the pitch. Once back in the changing room, I have an ice bath, shower and go home.”