Fandi to stay with FAS in developmental role, Nazri to take over Young Lions
Young Lions coach Fandi Ahmad will stay on with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) as its head of elite youth when his current contract ends on Dec 31, the FAS said in a media release on Saturday (Nov 23).
Lions assistant coach Nazri Nasir will take charge of the Young Lions for next year's Singapore Premier League, while Fandi works closely with technical director Joseph Palatsides to enhance the pipeline of young players for the national teams. Fandi will also be part of Lions coach Tatsuma Yoshida’s backroom staff.
To be sure, grooming young players is a role that Fandi is familiar with. He had focused on the development of players aged 19-23 as FAS head coach (youth), but took over the Young Lions at the end of 2017, after Richard Tardy's early release from his contract.
Emphasising the need to have a strong base in football's developmental pyramid, Fandi said: “I have confidence in the development of young elite players in Singapore. I am happy to continue to do this for Singapore, and am honoured to take on this position. I look forward to working with Joseph and the national youth coaches to develop the next generation of players.
“I have seen potential in many youth players over the years but not many had the opportunity to be groomed for the future. We need to establish a strong foundation for our youth development system so that we can identify and nurture the talent of tomorrow. I believe that with the right structure and training, we will be able to develop more players at youth level for the national teams.”
FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari said: “Fandi has accumulated a wealth of coaching experience in the last 20 years and we see the value he brings to the area of elite youth development.
"His work rate and professionalism are exceptional and he has embraced the FAS’ desire to further develop our youth footballers. He has developed a good working relationship with national team coach Tatsuma and we see this partnership further growing for the benefit of Singapore football."
Fandi's immediate attention will be on the SEA Games. The Young Lions flew to the Philippines on Saturday (Nov 23), ahead of their Group B matches against Laos (Nov 26), Indonesia (Nov 28), Thailand (Dec 1), Vietnam (Dec 3) and Brunei (Dec 5).