After failing to make the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup knockout stages, Singapore are looking to improve moving forward – and will begin with appointing a new coach.
According to The New Paper, the Lions will likely go for a foreign coach to succeed Fandi Ahmed as the interim coach was in charge of the national team heading into the Suzuki Cup.
Football Association of Singapore president Lim Kia Tong spoke to The New Paper and revealed that they’ve gone through the process of hiring a new coach. He said: “We have interviewed at least six (candidates) already… All of them are foreigners.
“The good thing is there is a mixture of Asian and European (names), some of whom were very involved in youth development in the Middle East.
“If there are any remaining (candidates), it’s maybe two or three more… We hope everything will be finalised soon… maybe in January.
“These shortlisted coaches, most of them, have an inclination for youth development and this is how we are going to move (forward).”
As for Fandi’s future, the FAS president revealed that he will go back to coaching the youth team as he will help Singapore in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.
With his turn to speak to The New Paper, Fandi revealed: “I’m just happy to be given the opportunity at the Suzuki Cup, after that, I knew I had to come back to (the SEA Games) team.
” I have a job to do at the SEA Games. We’ll try to develop as many players (as we can).”
Lim had high praises for Fandi but conceded that it would be too much for him to handle both the senior and youth teams at the same time.
“There is no dispute that Fandi has done a good job,” Lim said.
“He has the ability and has demonstrated that he can turn a team around to play entertaining, forward-moving football.
“I think it is a natural question (whether he should be national coach) but we are extremely mindful that MCCY (Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth), Sport Singapore and the whole of Singapore wants the football team to make a strong impact at the SEA Games.
“In other words, we have to go back to what we had discussed and agreed, that Fandi will now go back and develop, build and cement the team for the SEA Games.
“Hopefully, we can look at the gold medal. In order for him to do this, can he also double up as the national coach?
“We would be happy if he can do both but when we analyse the calendar, it is very stressful for a national coach to also hopefully bring the SEA Games team a gold medal…
“That is why we cannot put the whole burden on the shoulder of (one) person to handle two babies. One baby might be crying louder than the other, so he may have to pacify one baby.”
Photo courtesy of Football Association of Singapore