Team Singapore

Tong: 'New TD will have good track record'

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is casting its net wide and far to bring in a world-class football brain to take Singapore football to a higher level.

The association has narrowed down its search for the next technical director (TD) to five individuals. One of them is former England Under-19 and Under-20 coach Brian Eastick, whom the FAS engaged as an adviser last year.

The New Paper reported yesterday that the other four are experienced coaches from Holland, Germany, France and Belgium.

The technical director is set to play a key role in Singapore's bid to host either the 2019 or 2021 U-17 World Cup, and will assist FAS' two vice-presidents - Edwin Tong and Bernard Tan - who are working on the proposal.

Asked about the credentials for the new man, Tong (above) said: "He should have experience in leading a team at Fifa's or Uefa's age-group world championships or a good track record as the technical director of a top team in Europe.

"He will be tasked to build on the success of our youth development system, develop more youth players who have the quality to play in Europe, and oversee the long-term preparations for key events, including the Youth World Cup.

"He will also play a key role in expanding the base of grassroots football and in grooming local coaches."

The bid for the Youth World Cup, if successful, would be a shot in the arm for Singapore football, Tong said.

"The hosting of the event will benefit us not only from the sporting and footballing perspectives, but also rally the nation and provide a platform for us to further showcase our organisational efficiency as well as the ability to establish key infrastructure and capabilities rapidly.

"Another key benefit in hosting the U-17 World Cup is the development of a core group of players who are expected to represent the (senior national team) from 2019 to 2030, and beyond.

"In addition, it will further enhance our youth development structure which will in turn strengthen our chances of qualifying for subsequent editions of the U-17 World Cup on merit."

- SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ