Home United pumped by Raddy Avramovic's appointment
Languishing in sixth position in the nine-team Singapore Premier League (SPL), Home United are not having the best of seasons.
But morale at the club has been significantly lifted by the appointment of the most successful Singapore coach in history, Raddy Avramovic.
Yesterday, Home unveiled the 69-year-old Serb as their new coach in a press conference at the Bishan Stadium.
He led the Lions to three Asean Football Federation Championships in 2004, 2007 and 2012. He will be contracted to Home till the end of next year.
Avramovic will be assisted by Noh Rahman, who had been the interim coach since the sacking of Saswadimata Dasuki in April.
Protectors' vice-chairman Deculan Goh called Avramovic's appointment a "major coup".
Home's veteran forward Shahril Ishak ,35, who won three Asean titles under Avramovic, said: "Everyone at the club is really looking forward to working with him.
"It brings us a lot of joy.
"When I first heard about it, I was surprised because he is a big name here. He is a great appointment for the club. He is hardworking and his teams are always very well-prepared."
Star midfielder Song Ui Young is similarly upbeat.
"I have heard so much about coach Raddy from my teammates, about how he is a very good tactical coach and how his teams play simple yet effective football," he said.
"As a player, you can only be excited, and I am looking forward to training."
Home, who finished second in last season's SPL, have won only four times in 12 league games this term. They are 16 points off leaders Brunei DPMM.
Their realistic objective will be to finish as the top local side, which would mean qualification for the AFC Champions League's preliminary round.
Said Avramovic: "The main focus is to improve the results of the team, but also to try and bring in new faces.
"The priority is to sort out the current players and see what the boys can do to be more successful, then I will have to look at younger players from the Under-18 side."
The New Paper understands that Tampines Rovers winger Jordan Webb is top of Home's wish list for next season.
On whether Home could still qualify for continental competition, Avramovic said: "Why not? You must try... My job will be to ensure the boys have a winning mentality for every game."
The Serb's first game will be at 7.45pm tonight against the Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium.