As the dust settles on Singapore’s dismal campaign at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U-19 Championship, news broke that head coach Robbie Servais was in Russia as part of the Socceroos backroom staff.
Singapore bowed out of the U-19 Championship after four defeats and one draw in Group A, with Thailand and Indonesia advancing to the next stage.
They kicked off their tournament with a 2-1 loss to Philippines before a 4-0 defeat at the hands of host nation Indonesia. Thailand were up next and they put six past the young cubs with no reply while Laos did the same with a 5-0 scoreline. Singapore salvaged some pride in the final group game with a 2-2 draw against Vietnam.
Singapore football fans noticed the results, especially the heavy loss to Laos and questions are now being asked regarding the team’s preparation and mindset going into the tournament.
There have been reports that Singapore U-19 head coach Robbie Servais only joined the team a day before they were scheduled to fly off to Indonesia for the tournament, and team matters were handled by assistant coach Takuya Inoue.
Servais who had only just taken over the U-19 squad in January this year left the team behind to join up with the Australia national team as a scout and was with the Socceroos throughout the length of the World Cup in Russia.
It is understood that the Football Association of Singapore’s Technical Director Michel Sabon gave the green light for Servais to be part of the Socceroos, with the view of helping the coach’s development which will in turn benefit Singapore football.
“Our national technical director (Eric Adams) discussed the opportunity for Robbie with the Singapore TD and it was agreed that it would be beneficial for Robbie’s development and therefore beneficial for Singapore football if Robbie was exposed to the FIFA World Cup from a personal development perspective,” a Football Federation of Australia (FFA) spokesman told Channel News Asia.
Servais’ role with the Socceroos was to scout and provide analysis on opponents to head coach Bert van Marwijk, and his term with Australia was to go on until they exited the tournament in Russia.
Should Australia have made it all the way to the knockout stages, they would still be involved in the World Cup which ends on July 15.
Photo credit: Football Association of Singapore Facebook