Monday, January 14, 2013


Fare Thee Well, Raddy

Dear Friends,

When I first arrived in Singapore back in the middle of 2003, one of the first few impressions I had of Singapore was that you were extremely passionate about your football.

Almost daily, there were discussions or articles in newspapers about what can be done to improve Singapore's football.

This is understandable, and honestly, it is good that so many Singaporeans choose to let their feelings known about football, or sports in general because this only means that you care a lot for football.

Over the last nine years or so, I have tried my best to put Singapore on the international football map.

No one is perfect, and like me, I have done whatever I can within my ability to have Singapore taste success.

And we have, to a certain degree. Three ASEAN titles over the last 10 years, is by no means an easy feat. But we did it, together.

We have also taken Japan to the limit; beat Iraq and held China at home, among many results we have posted over the last few years.

This only means that your Lions are no pushovers and they can challenge against football sides which are ranked much higher.

There have been disappointments too, like missing out on the 2011 Asian Cup by a whisker.

Nonetheless, the Lions did very well to respond to the challenges and they are now one of the region's most feared and respected.

Singapore are reigning champions of ASEAN and this is testament to the ability of the talent we have been able to produce over the last decade.

What we need to do now is get better and stay ahead.

There are just so many people I know I should mention and thank, and my humblest apologies if I forget any.

Firstly, I must give credit to the extremely passionate band of support staff whom I have had the privilege of working with during my time as national coach.

They have been critical to our success, and they have sacrificed a lot just to further the development of Singapore football.

Also, I am extremely grateful for the support shown by our Presidents - former President S R Nathan and current President Tony Tan.

Your presence at matches over the years have only spurred the team to far greater heights.

To the Presidents of the Football Association of Singapore during my tenure as national coach - Mr Mah Bow Tan, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee and Mr Zainudin Nordin - a huge thank you for believing in me and for providing me with the opportunity to take Singapore football to another level.

A special thank you to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (the players were over the moon with your Facebook updates during the recent AFF Suzuki Cup), Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (President of the Singapore National Olympic Council) and the Sports Ministers during my time as national coach. Football does have a special place in the building of a multi-racial society like Singapore, and the support you have all given me as national coach has helped us to build a strong national team, which I hope will continue to rally Singaporeans around each other.

Most importantly, my heartfelt gratitude to the fans, who braved the rain for us, who stood in queues for hours, who shouted themselves hoarse and who stood by us through thick and thin. You will always hold a special place in my heart, for as long as I live.

Football is a strange sport, which many say, can make even grown men cry.

But what's more important about football, is that it is the one sport which can bring 55,000 Singaporeans, regardless of race, language or religion, to the National Stadium.

It is the one sport which can bond communities.

It is the one sport which can get an entire nation talking, be it in the neighbourhood coffee-shops, in online forums, bus interchanges or even within family units.

Continue to support the Lions, because they are your national team.

Cheer them on now that they are champions, but also be there for them when they are down because that will be when they need you the most.

Singapore will always have a special place in my heart.

And for that, I must thank all of you.

Let's not say goodbye, because friendships built, are meant to last forever.

Yours sincerely


SOURCE Today Online

COMMENT - personally got a lot of time for Raddy, First time we met I asked him about playing for Coventry against Arsenal. They won 1-0 he told me, he named the scorer and said the weather was really bad! Not bad for a game from 1983!

Chuffed he went out on a high and hope a place can be found for him in Singapore football in the future.

I wonder if he can win the trophies in ASEAN region without the help of naturalized players ( Duric, Qiu Li and Co ).......
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