Sundram to lead Singapore Select XI against EPL's Arsenal, Everton, Stoke City in July
'The Dazzler' will go up against top notch managers in Barclays tournament
Local football fans can look forward to "The Dazzler" taking on "The Professor" at the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament in July.
The New Paper has learnt that Tampines Rovers coach V Sundramoorthy, known as "The Dazzler" during his playing days for his magic on the ball, will lead a Singapore Select XI that will pit themselves against English Premier League giants Arsenal, Everton and Stoke City in the glamour quadrangular at the 55,000-seater National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Arsenal are managed by Frenchman Arsene Wenger, commonly referred to as "Le Professeur" in the English press, while Everton are managed by Spaniard Roberto Martinez, and Stoke by Manchester United legend Mark Hughes.
When contacted last night, Sundram said: "I'm very happy and honoured to get the opportunity to coach the team that will play in the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament.
"Games like these come around only once in a while, and it'll be a very special experience for myself and the players."
The 49-year-old coach, who previously led a Singapore Select XI that were defeated 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium by reigning Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in May 2013, declined comment when asked about the players he had in mind for the tournament.
In all likelihood, the squad will be similar to the one named against Atletico, and the team that were beaten 5-0 by Italian champions Juventus in a one-off exhibition match last August.
The team that played Atletico comprised mainly of players from the Singapore national team, with the addition of three foreign players in S.League trio Sirina Camara, Jozef Kaplan and Monsef Zerka.
Camara, who was previously reported as a potential target for the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) Foreign Talent Scheme, also featured against Juventus, alongside Miroslav Pejic and Nicolas Velez of S.League champions the Warriors, with a majority of the team again made up of national players.
The man at the helm for the Juventus game was national coach Bernd Stange.
Last month, the FAS said the make-up of the squad will be made only at a later date because of the uncertainty over the availability of Singapore's overseas-based players - Safuwan Baharudin (Melbourne City), Hariss Harun (Johor Darul Ta'zim), Shahril Ishak, Baihakki Khaizan (both Johor Darul Ta'zim II) and Hassan Sunny (Army United, Thailand).
Sundram's stock as a coach rocketed after he masterminded the LionsXII's unexpected ride to the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title in July 2013.
He joined Malaysia's second-tier team Negeri Sembilan in 2014 on a two-year deal reportedly on a monthly salary of US$20,000 ($25,000), but left after the side failed to gain promotion.
He joined S.League giants Tampines at the start of the season and was tasked to win the Stags' first title since 2013.
After playing five games, Tampines are currently fifth in the 10-team S.League, three points behind league leaders Albirex Niigata, who have played one game more.