The fasting month of Ramadhan was an eye opener for Warriors FC gaffer Alex Weaver who, for the first time in his coaching career, took charge of a team where Muslim players were a majority and witnessed first-hand their mental strength and character during that period.
While the training schedule did not change during Ramadhan, his charges continued giving their best during training sessions and that was enough for the Englishman to follow suit, albeit for a day, as he tried to understand what they were going through.
“We have not changed a thing with our training programmes and the boys [like] Syaiful Iskandar and Abdil (Qayyim), were going full on in the conditioning sessions, and they were not having anything to eat or drink," Weaver told Goal Singapore.
“I thought it would be good for me to do it and show respect to the players that were fasting, and I was [also] intrigued as to what it was all about.
“It was after training one day when we were discussing a social event and we talked about going to a restaurant in Arab Street where the boys would be breaking their fast.
“It was Abdil [who suggested the idea to me] and that was when I said that if they were fasting, I would do it too.”
The ex-Hougang United coach went on to explain how he had to get up in the wee hours to have his pre-dawn meal before embarking on his first-ever fasting stint.
“I got up at five in the morning and it was dark at my place as I was walking to my living room thinking 'I do not know what to eat', but I had to as it would be tough [during the day] and so I had bread and butter, raisins and a banana," Weaver recalled.
“I was sitting there in my dark living room knowing most of my players were [already] up and having their meals with their families, and that they would be having training in a few hours.
“That was me and I thought it was tough, but bear in mind these guys are doing sessions and games and it is unbelievable.
“I know that they have done it as they grew up and are used to it, but massive respect to them!
"It was very good for me to experience [fasting] and it was much harder than what I thought it would be.”