FAS technical director Sablon says he needs time to change youth development here

Sablon calls for patience as he spells out viable blueprint  for Singapore football

WELCOME: FAS vice presidents Bernard Tan (left) and Edwin Tong (right) getting Michel Sablon started with a Singapore jersey with his name and number.

It was his blueprint that set Belgian football on a path to the World Cup quarter-finals last year, and now into third spot in the Fifa world rankings, but do not expect Michel Sablon, the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) newly-appointed technical director to work the same magic in the Republic - at least not so quickly. 

His experience in Belgium - a country with 11 million inhabitants and 34 professional clubs - has given him a fair idea of what elements are important for a youth development system to produce talent. 

But the 67-year-old, who is on a two-year contract with the FAS, knows he cannot take the Belgian plan wholesale, transplant it here, and expect it to work. 

He called for patience yesterday, when he was unveiled to the media, while he analyses the local football ecosystem, and then draws up a blueprint that can bring Singapore football to the next level.

Read the full report in our print edition on April 10.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.


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The Singapore Zoo is set to receive four koalas from Australia as part of events that mark the 50th anniversary of Australia-Singapore diplomatic ties and the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence.

The koalas, which will be flown here next week, will be loaned to the zoo for six months, where they will reside in a purpose-built koala exhibit. The gift will be made permanent when the zoo can support a koala colony.

"The loan symbolises the warm ties between Singapore and Australia, and I look forward to an official koala handover to Singapore Zoo when I visit in May," said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in a statement yesterday.

Qantas Airways will transport the koalas to and from Singapore, and supply fresh eucalyptus twice weekly to the zoo for the duration.

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Hotpot diners: Gas cooker explosion? It won't happen to me

Business still brisk a week after portable cooker explosion

CALM: Business for hotpot eateries along Beach Road and Liang Seah Street was still busy yesterday evening.
CALM: Mr Jason Wu (left) and Mr Bryan Goh said last Saturday’s incident was an isolated one.
STILL BOOMING: Chong Qing Original Old Steamboat saw strong business last night after changing their cookers to electric ones.
"I'm not scared, and I think it's okay. I heard about it from Facebook, but it won't happen to me." - Mr Teo Chun Kiat
THE NEW PAPER, APR 8

Last Saturday, a portable butane cooker exploded in Chong Qing Original Old Steamboat at Beach Road, splashing hot soup on five female diners.

The incident has not deterred diners from enjoying their hotpot meals. On Thursday evening, the many hotpot and steamboat outlets at Beach Road and neighbouring Liang Seah Street were bustling.

Several customers said they were not worried about the gas cookers exploding, with most of them echoing that "it won't happen to me".

But Mr William Lee, 70, the chief executive of Greencross Safety Fire and Equipment, likened improperly maintained portable gas cookers to potential time bombs and wants them banned in Singapore.

Similar cookers have been banned in Australia after a man was killed when a cooker exploded.

In a TNP online poll, about 85 per cent of respondentsd were in favour of a ban of such cookers here.

Read the full report in our print edition on April 10.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.


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