Sablon calls for more support for youth blueprint
FAS technical director admits he is frustrated but says he won't quit for now
He signed a two-year extension to his contract in April, hoping to continue his youth development work for Singapore football.
But Football Association of Singapore (FAS) technical director Michel Sablon told The New Paper in an exclusive interview yesterday that he was frustrated by the lack of public support shown by the national football body's council.
Sablon is credited for developing the blueprint that produced Belgium's current "golden generation" of football stars, which include Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.
He was brought in by the FAS in April 2015 to put in place a pipeline that would produce talented Singaporean footballers.
But the journey has not been easy and, this year, poor results posted by various age-group national teams in Asean and Asian tournaments have led to some in the football fraternity questioning if the 70-year-old Belgian's plan is working (see story ).
Sablon feels that the FAS Council, which was elected in April, has not sufficiently backed him and his plan, when the critics wielded their knives.
"In the last meeting I had with the FAS exco (executive committee), I asked them, 'Do you believe in the plan?'," he told TNP.
"They said 'yes'. But to say you support it, is not enough. You have to show it.
"Show the public. Go to the press. Talk about how you have gone through the plan and say, 'Yes, we are 100 per cent behind it'. That's a statement. But they have not done it.
"So I'm not sure if they believe in the plan. That's my concern.
"And if the exco doesn't believe in it... then forget it. It would not make sense to continue."
Sablon also told TNP that in May, he had wanted to publicly present the progress of his youth development plan - which he unveiled at the Fullerton Hotel 16 months ago.
But he had been told to wait.
TNP understands that he is set to do so in the coming weeks.
Sablon's blueprint for Singapore football is broken down into 11 components and includes an overall development philosophy, coaching education, a revamp of schools and Centre of Excellence competitions, and specialised goalkeeper development, among others.
Asked if he was on the verge of packing his bags and leaving, he said he would not quit - for now.
Said Sablon: "I don't take things personally. What I want is support for the plan.
"When I see the good work that has been done in women's football, with the goalkeeping academy, for coaches' education... the people working very well, they are my concern.
"Otherwise, three weeks ago, I would have (left).
"But that's not my style.
"I want to leave here with a good feeling, with a legacy.
"A legacy where football here is better organised, there is a plan in place, and the players get better."