Raab is new Tampines coach
Stags chairman Krishna hails former Young Lions boss as one of FAS' best coaches
Less than a week after announcing a parting of ways with Akbar Nawas, Tampines Rovers have confirmed Juergen Raab as their head coach for the 2017 S.League season.
The former Garena Young Lions coach will arrive tomorrow and sign a three-year contract to take charge of the five-time S.League champions.
Stags' chairman Krishna Ramachandra believes the German's familiarity with the local league will stand him in good stead.
He told The New Paper: "He knows the league very well, he knows the youth development system here, and he knows who the talented youngsters are.
"Above that, he's just a very good coach, someone's who's almost unanimously regarded as one of the best coaches that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have had."
Raab joined the FAS in Oct 2014 as a fitness coach, and then worked with the Under-23 team.
He took over the reins of the Young Lions following the resignation of Aide Iskandar after the U-23 team's group-stage exit at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in June 2015, with the 58-year-old German leaving at the end of his contract later that year.
Signing a coach on a three-year contract is almost unheard of in a league that depends on subsidies to fund its football operations.
S.League clubs receive some $800,000 in annual subsidies from the league, almost two-thirds of their average annual operating costs. Authorities only confirmed this year's funding two weeks ago.
But Krishna asserted that Raab has joined Tampines to set in place systems for the long term.
"(The three-year contract) is to give more comfort, and more continuity to the system, and it's not as if he's not a proven coach," said Krishna.
"We're looking to put in place something for the long term, a coaching culture and philosophy that will even outlast the (club's) management."
He also made clear that the club is not in transition, and is aiming for silverware this season. "We are looking long term, but success is synonymous with the club," said Krishna, who declined to reveal specific targets set for his new head coach.
Last Friday, Tampines announced on its official Facebook page that it would part company with Akbar.
The shock move came just three days after the Stags fell 2-0 to Philippine side Global FC in a one-off Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League qualifier in Manila.
While some believe the late coaching switch could affect Tampines ahead of the S.League's kick off on Feb 26, former Stags' winger Jordan Webb believes that Raab's arrival is a coup.
"Juergen is a very positive coach in terms of his play, and that will benefit Tampines. He goes into games looking to win," said Webb, who left Tampines at the end of 2016 to join rivals Warriors FC.
Webb played under Raab at Young Lions in 2015.
"I enjoyed playing under him and I think he really improved me as a player - I've got nothing but praise for the way he coached the team," said Webb.
"I think he's a great coach, and an even better person."