Southeast Asia Malaysia

Selangor Captain Brendan Gan Score in Return from Cancer

Selangor FC captain Brendan Gan marked his first match back from cancer with a goal as he guided his team to a triumphant 7-0 win over Sarawak United on Sunday’s Liga Super Malaysia action at the Petaling Jaya Stadium.

Adversity was no stranger for Brendan – he had suffered two ACL injuries in recent years prior to his diagnosis of early-stage testicular cancer on July of last year. The diagnosis meant that Brendan was out for an entire year, undergoing surgery, recovery, and rehabilitation throughout the year underneath the watchful eyes of a team of specialists.

2022 saw Brendan slowly being phased back into first-team action, participating in a number of training sessions and friendly, however, he has yet to play in a competitive Liga Super match throughout the current campaign.

Until Sunday, that was.

Once again donning the captain’s armband, Brendan led his Selangor teammates out of the tunnel as the Red Giants took on newly-promoted Sarawak United, coached by former Selangor head coach B. Sathianathan – albeit with him being absent from the match due to health issues.

Only a day after the match, Sathianathan resigned from his Sarawak United position due to said health issues and was replaced by S. Balachandran.

Sunday’s showdown was the two teams’ first Liga Super match in a month after a lengthy international break and it was Selangor who showed intent right from the get-go and inspirational captain Brendan managed to draw first blood for the Red Giants.

In the 7th minute, an attempt from Selangor’s Quentin Cheng Jiun Ho was warded off by Sarawak United’s S. Veenod, however, the ball fell into the possession of Brendan, who had been prowling within the Sarawak United penalty area. Grasping the opportunity with both hands, Brendan lashed out a venomous volley that sent the ball into the top corner of Sharbinee Allawee’s goal.

Brendan’s wild celebrations that followed his goal shows how much it meant for him, after a year in the sidelines, he has managed to cap his return to the sport with a delightful goal – a moment to remember for the Selangor captain indeed.

The Red Giants then proceeded to ran rampant over their opponents from Borneo – former Thai League striker Caion bagged himself a hat-trick while Hyuri Henrique, Norhakim Hassan, and Aliff Haiqal scored one goal each as Selangor finished the match 7-0 winners.

Selangor’s huge win aside, Sunday night belongs to Brendan and many Selangor fans were optimistic that the Sarawak United match would be the first of many more matches that the skipper could start as he seek to make his return into the Malaysia national team setup.

“I did not want it to be all about my return. But it was a great feeling to be back as it’s been an extremely tough year, with lots of work behind closed doors,” said Brendan, as quoted from The Star, “The game was hugely important for me in terms of progression. I am nowhere near where I want to be at the moment, but at the end of the day, it’s great to be back. I need to make sure I get better every week, and that form helps Selangor in the Liga Super  and other cup competitions. For me, it didn’t matter who scored and what the scoreline was. The main message we kept talking about throughout the weeks was being together, coming together as a team.”

Selangor’s next match will be a tough away trip to reigning Liga Super champions Johor Darul Ta’zim on June 24th.