Gavin Lee–Mustafic combo to replace Raab at Tampines Rovers – Sources

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

The search for Jurgen Raab’s replacement has already begun with Tampines Rovers announcing on Tuesday (10 October) that the German has been relieved of his duties as the club’s head coach.

The former East German international arrived in Singapore in 2014 and was part of the Lions setup amidst controversial circumstances, before going on to lead the Young Lions in 2015 and 2016.

He landed the Tampines role in 2017 after Akbar Nawas left the club and took the team to second spot behind Albirex Niigata FC S in his first season, qualifying for the AFC Champions League qualifiers.

But Raab could only muster a fourth-place showing in his second season with the Stags despite having one of the strongest squads in the Singapore Premier League (SPL).

Inconsistency was the main issue as Tampines fnished with 12 wins, four draws and eight losses to amass a total of 40 points, 14 points lesser than their 2017 tally.

The disappointing results proved costly as Tampines said in a statement that the German tactician will not be in charge for the next campaign.

While the club has not announced Raab’s replacement yet, sources close to the club confirmed that his replacement will likely come from within.

FOX Sports Asia understands that assistant coach Gavin Lee will be promoted to lead Tampines as head coach, while Fahrudin Mustafic will be his second-in-command.

Lee, 28, will be going for his ‘A’ license course next month in order to satisfy the SPL’s mandatory regulations for all coaches to be at that level.

Despite his inexperience at the highest level, Lee has been honing his craft in the past few years, most notably under Alex Weaver in 2014 when the Englishman led Warriors FC to the S.League title.

He also played an integral role in the JSSL academy, arguably one of the best football schools in the country. One of the players under his care then was Fulham FC youngster, Ben Davis.

Lee will be aided by Fahrudin, who ended his playing career at the end of the 2018 campaign to take up a coaching role at the club.

Tampines have remained tightlipped about the possible appointment and said that they will announce their new head coach in due course.