Sundram to assist Stange for World Cup qualifiers
Tampines coach roped in to assist Stange at World Cup qualifiers
He was the man the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) turned to in the five months of uncertainty between the departure of Radojko Avramovic - the most successful Lions' coach - and the appointment of current national coach Bernd Stange.
V Sundramoorthy (left) has now been invited back into the fold by the FAS to serve as assistant coach to the German for next month's World Cup qualifiers.
Singapore have been drawn into Group E of the qualifiers, along with Afghanistan, Syria, Japan and Cambodia, whom the Lions face in their opening group match on June 11.
The Lions will travel to Japan for their second match five days later.
Sources revealed that the Tampines Rovers head coach, who won the Malaysian Super League title with the LionsXII in 2013, has already been registered with regional governing body, the Asian Football Confederation.
In response to queries from The New Paper, FAS spokesman Gerard Wong confirmed the appointment yesterday.
He said: "Sundram is one of our top local coaches, and we have set up his attachment with the National Team with the blessings of his S.League club, Tampines Rovers.
"We believe Sundram will benefit from his stint with the Lions for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
"Coach development is always a key priority for us. That is why we are constantly looking to provide and create learning opportunities to our local coaches, to help them to grow and improve themselves."
This is not the first time that Sundram has answered the call of the nation as a coach.
In 2011, he stood in for Avramovic, when the Serb served a touchline ban during the World Cup qualifiers, losing twice to Jordan (2-0 and 3-0) and once to China (4-0).
In addition to being the interim national coach in 2013, Sundram helmed the Singapore Selection side that lost 2-0 to Spain's Atletico Madrid in May that year.
The 49-year-old has also been appointed the coach of the Singapore Selection side that will face English sides Arsenal, Everton and Stoke in July's Barclays Asia Trophy.
Speaking to TNP last night, Sundram, known as "The Dazzler" in his pomp, is looking forward to helping out with the national team.
CALL OF THE NATION
"I'm always happy to answer the call of the nation and, while international football is a big challenge, especially at a tournament like the World Cup qualifiers, I'm looking forward to it," he said.
"I'd like to thank Mr Teo (Hock Seng, Tampines chairman) for his blessings to let me do this, and the FAS for the opportunity, but I have to say that this does not mean that I will neglect my duties at Tampines. It will remain my main focus for the year."
It has not been plain sailing for Sundram after he took over five-time league champions Tampines last year.
The Stags hold seventh spot in the 10-team S-League, 12 points behind leaders Albirex Niigata, who have played two games more.
Despite that, Teo is keeping faith in the man he believes has a lot to offer.
"I know I have a good coach who's sincere and we get on very well, it's just unfortunate that we haven't been winning," Teo said of Sundram.
"I'm happy that he will lead the team at the Barclays Asia Trophy and, if the national team want him, I have no objections to that either.
"That's good for him and, I think, good for Singapore football too."