AFC Champs League-winning coach Kim Do-hoon to take charge at Sailors
A week after announcing the capture of national skipper Hariss Harun, the Lion City Sailors issued another statement of intent yesterday by unveiling last year's AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Champions League-winning tactician Kim Do-hoon as their coach.
The 50-year-old, who led Ulsan Hyundai to the summit of Asian club football unbeaten, has signed a 2½-year deal with the Sailors and will link up with them next month.
Kim, who also played for South Korea in the late 1990s and early 2000s, takes the place of Aurelio Vidmar, who left last month to join Thai champions BG Pathum United.
He will be tasked with charting a path to the pinnacle of Asian football for the Singapore Premier League's (SPL) big spenders.
Kim said in a media release: "It's hugely exciting to be part of such an ambitious project - the club have aspirations of becoming one of the top teams in the region, and I'm confident of delivering that success to the Sailors."
Sailors chief executive Chew Chun-Liang said the club had gone through an exhaustive search before deciding on Kim.
He added: "There were several top-class candidates, but Do-hoon stood out as the ideal person to take over as head coach because of his professionalism, consistency, and propensity to play an eye-catching style of football."
Kim also ticked other boxes with his track record of helping players fulfil their potential and having played and coached at Asia's highest level.
A prolific striker in his playing days, Kim scored 30 goals in 72 appearances for the Taeguk Warriors.
His highlight reel includes an injury-time winner as South Korea stunned Brazil 1-0 in a 1999 friendly in Seoul. The Selecao side included the likes of Rivaldo.
After a remarkable playing career - which included stints with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, the J-League's Vissel Kobe and Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma - Kim hung up his boots in 2005 and embarked on a coaching journey, which took him to K-League side Incheon United.
He then spent four years with Ulsan, and led them to their first Korean FA Cup in 2017. Adopting a possession-based and attacking style, Kim's Ulsan also finished second in the K-League in 2019 and 2020.
Sailors attacker Gabriel Quak welcomed the appointment of Kim.
"It's always great to be working under someone as knowledgeable and experienced as coach Kim," said Quak. "He has achieved great success with Ulsan, and we are all excited for him to help us develop individually and as a team."
The Sailors, who finished third in the eight-team SPL in their debut season last year, are currently second in the table, just one point behind defending champions Albirex Niigata.