The LionsXII coach will take charge of his first competitive fixture against Pahang and hopes the jersey number he made famous will prove to be a lucky omen for himJersey numbers like 9 and 10 are usually coveted by young, aspiring footballers. But in Singapore, the number 17 holds special significance, for it was on the back of arguably the best player the country has ever produced.
And Fandi Ahmad, who made the number famous, hopes it will bring him luck as he prepares to lead the LionsXII into battle on Friday - the 17th of this month.
The 2013 Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions will take on Pahang FA in the Malaysian Charity Shield, which will be the 51-year-old's first competitive fixture since taking over from V. Sundramoorthy last year.
With assistant Nazri Nasir's birthday also falling on the same day, Fandi hopes to get off to a good start.
"I pray so!" he responded when asked whether he was confident of winning at the pre-season press conference on Tuesday at Jalan Besar Stadium.
"The 17th is a special date… that was the last date we played in the Malaysia Cup final, on December 17, and that was [also] my jersey number.
"I will tell you after the game because 17 is always a good number for me and hopefully Nazri give us that luck with his birthday!"
Fandi, who has spent time coaching in Malaysia during his seven years away, knows just how good Malaysia Cup winners Pahang are.
"They are very strong and I must say Pahang are one of the title contenders, because they have signed Kelantan's Dickson Nwakaeme and they have Damion Stewart, who used to play in England," he pointed out.
"I believe they are a very strong side but I know how they play, because they only play to the target[man]. We are looking at trying to tighten up our defense and at the same time, we need to score goals.
"Because [during] the last three [pre-season] games we played in Indonesia, we created 10, 11 chances every game, but we only scored three goals [in total]. So that is our soft side and hopefully [during] these few days we can polish up [that aspect] again."
With the game also doubling up as the first MSL game of the season, Fandi hopes the 12th man will be behind the team all the way as they begin their campaign.
"We hope everyone will support us - LionsXII, go!" he rallied.