Sean's mom: Give them the support and they will do the rest

Angie Gan is unlike most moms. She and her husband Italian Massimo Giannelli believe in allowing their children to express themselves and being the best at what they do.

As a result, Angie's youngest son Sean (pic) is now the talk of the town. Sean recently landed a stint with Italian club Atletico Arezzo.

Having graduated from two clubs - Royal Selangor Club and the KL Youth Soccer - before earning a place at the Bukit Jalil Sports School, Sean is now monitored by AC Milan's youth team.

Below is Angie's insight of Sean's history and her hope for her three children - Andrea, Giuliana and Sean.

"It started with the encouragement of his brother Andrea, when they were both very young. The condo we stayed in "Andalucia" in Pantai Hillpark, we had lots of children around his age group and younger who used to play in the common area and parents started organising futsal games in the futsal court in PJ with the money from recycling exercises the children helped to collect from the neighbors. 

It was a real mixed of kids as we had Malay, Indians, Chinese, mixed races in the group and parents used to car pool to take the kids to the futsal court on Sundays.

He was noticed by the coaches of Royal Selangor Club when he participated in their carnival in 2008 in a friendly football match with his school. He joined RSC end of 2008 for about a year before he joined KLYS (Kuala Lumpur Youth Soccer). At the end of 2011, he participated in the search by the Bukit Jalil Sports School for the Malaysian youth football team. He was selected and decided to take up the challenge although he knew it to be tough staying away from home and training twice a day while still attending normal classes in Bukit Jalil Sports School as his aim has always to be a professional football player.

In May, we were informed that there were some try-outs arranged for him via his father's contacts for the Italian youth teams.  They left in June for the try-outs and he was offered by the team in Arezzo.  Preparation was done for him to be there and he left with his father for Arezzo on the 11th August 2012.  The scouts of AC Milan have already indicated that they will be looking out for his progress in the next few months.

As a mother, I am of course very proud that he has progressed in the short period of time. Not only he received wide publicity in Malaysia and gained lots of supporters locally but he was also mentioned in the papers and TV stations in Arezzo. Boys like him and Nazmi (Faiz Mansor) can lead the way for other Malaysian players to show that we also have talents here. 

Many parents in Malaysia still push their children to be good academically to have a secure future. I am not saying this is wrong but there should be a balance. Children who are active in sports tend to be more outgoing and learn about teamwork and this is part and parcel of their development into their adulthood. 

My husband and I believe in giving our full support to our children to pursue their interests rather than oppressed them. They will perform and enjoy their life better if they do the things they like rather than the things you like and want them to be. 

My eldest son, Andrea, is taking his degree in Music in UCSI and that is not the mainstream career especially in Malaysia and my daugther, Giuliana is taking her American Degree Program (ADP) at HELP institute and her interest as of now is Psychology. 

Give them the support and they will do the rest."

HD says: Angie is indeed a role model to mothers out there.


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