Hesse set to handle Young Lions
Frenchman set to take the reins of developmental S.League side and national U-21s
The Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) search for a coach to take the reins of the Young Lions is over.
The New Paper understands that Frenchman Patrick Hesse will be the man to lead the team in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League this season.
Hesse, 58, will also handle the national Under-21 team.
While he has been in Singapore for over a week, casting his eye over the Young Lions' training sessions and a friendly match, his official appointment is subject to a work permit being approved.
Sources tell TNP the FAS is convinced the approval will come shortly, and it appears Hesse shares the same confidence.
On his LinkedIn profile, the former FC Metz assistant manager has already listed his current occupation as "Under-21 coach at the Football Association of Singapore".
Hesse, who has a Uefa Pro Licence as well as a Uefa Elite Youth licence, started his coaching career handling youth teams at Nancy Lorraine, before moving on to become the assistant manager at Metz.
He had a crack at senior management at Luxembourg side Dudelange.
He most recently held assistant coaching positions with the national teams of Mali and Tunisia.
Hesse's imminent appointment as Young Lions head coach puts an end to weeks of speculation on who would lead the FAS developmental team this season.
The Young Lions were coached last year by Aide Iskandar and then German Juergen Raab, after the former Singapore captain resigned following the Under-23 team's failure at June's home SEA Games.
Raab's contract with the FAS has since expired and he has returned to Germany.
Following the disbanding of the LionsXII, the FAS was understood to has been keen on appointing local football icon Fandi Ahmad as Young Lions head coach.
But in an exclusive report recently, Fandi told TNP that he had turned down the offer, saying he was keen "to contribute to Singapore football in other ways".
While he did not explain why he turned down the role, it is believed the 53-year-old is not willing to lead a team who had not been put together by him.
Late last year, the Young Lions were tweaked from an Under-23 developmental side to one comprising mostly Under-21 players, and the boys were under the scope of technical director Michel Sablon.
The Belgian and national youth teams head coach Richard Tardy were understood to have been the ones who formed the squad.
Little is known of the team, who will include Singapore international striker Khairul Amri, 30, and a number of S.League rookies.
The backroom staff are still being finalised.
In addition to Hesse, TNP previously reported that a Belgian goalkeeper coach is set to arrive to take over from the now-departed John Burridge, while a new fitness coach, also from Europe, will take over Aleksandar "Sasha" Bozenko's role.
Bozenko left in December to join Thai club Chonburi FC after 11 years working for the FAS, while Burridge exited last month.