Sundram is coach of S.League giants Tampines Rovers
It's confirmed: V Sundramoorthy will lead Tampines Rovers in next season's Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.
On Nov 5, The New Paper reported that the former LionsXII coach had parted ways with Malaysian Premier League (MPL) side Negeri Sembilan and was linked with the Tampines job.
According to a source, "The Dazzler", as he was known in his playing days, has already put pen to paper on a deal with the Stags.
Both Tampines chairman Teo Hock Seng and Sundram are overseas and could not be reached for comment.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "Sundram had already presented his plans for next season to Teo Hock Seng a while back.
"It was always a matter of when, and not if, he would join the team."
Sundram, 49, will be aided by former Singapore and Tampines striker Aleksandar Duric, who retired from professional football at the end of the 2014 season last month.
Speaking to TNP last night, the 44-year-old said: "Yes, the plan is for me to be assistant coach and fitness coach, and I will speak to boss (Teo) once he's back in Singapore.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Sundram."
Sundram's stock as a coach soared when he led the LionsXII to a second-placed finish in their first season back in Malaysia's football competitions, in 2012.
Last year, he went one better, leading the team to the Malaysian Super League crown. Sundram mulled over a couple of offers after the successful campaign and eventually signed a two-year deal with Negeri Sembilan.
While the move didn't work out as planned, he is now back in Singapore, taking over from Rafi Ali, who was Tampines' interim coach after Salim Moin resigned in April.
Working on a list of names provided by Sundram, five-time S.League champions Tampines have already signed a number of players for next season.
The Stags' new coach has also had his choice of the five foreign imports allowed in each S.League team and has tapped on his knowledge of Malaysian football to rope in some experienced heads.
TNP understands that, among the new faces are Fabrice Noel, a Haitian international and former ATM FA striker, and Eddy Viator, a Guadelopean international defender who last played for second-tier Putrajaya Spa FC.
Perhaps the Stags' biggest catch, though, is goalkeeper Hassan Sunny from S.League champions Warriors FC.
The Singapore No. 1 was crowned the S.League's Best Player last season and, although he had plenty of offers to mull over, he picked Tampines.
Said the 30-year-old shot-stopper: "A few days after I heard Sundram had left Negeri and that he would return to the S.League, I got a call from the Tampines management, who told me they wanted me and that Sundram would be the coach for next season.
"I've worked with him only once, when he was the interim national coach (for a Asian Cup qualifier in Feb 2013), and I liked his style. He was very organised and tactically very smart.
"So, even though I had a few offers, including the Warriors, I picked the club who wanted me most.
"I'm looking forward to starting the new season with Tampines and Sundram."
"I’ve worked with him only once, when he was the interim national coach and I liked his style. He was very organised and tactically very smart."
— Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny on V Sundramoorthy