Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Singapore's New Coach Is An Ossi Who Has Worked In Aussie!

SINGAPORE - After a five-month search, the Football Association of Singapore has finally found its new national head coach.
The national body has unveiled former Belarus coach Bernd Stange as the man who will be stepping into Radojko Avramovic's shoes at a media conference today (May 15). FAS officials said he was chosen because of his familiarity with Asian football, having coached at Perth Glory, Oman and Iraq, and his track record of lifting small countries such as Belarus up the FIFA ladder into the top-30 positions.
The German has signed a two-year contract with the option of extending it for another two years. His target is to rebuild the national team and secure qualification for the Asian Cup finals for the first time.
He has also been tasked to groom the likes of former national players V Sundramoorthy and Aide Iskandar so that they can be his eventual replacements.
Avramovic stepped down as national coach on Dec 31 after leading the Lions to their fourth Asean Football Championship title.
The triumph brought the curtain down on a successful 10-year stint which saw the Serb leading Singapore to three AFF titles, into the third round of qualifying for the World Cup finals on two occasions, and on the brink of Asian Cup qualification for the first time.
Following Avramovic's departure, the FAS appointed global search firm Sports Recruitment International to help it find the next national coach.
TODAY understands that more than 100 candidates had applied for the position. This list was trimmed in stages before Stange was awarded the job.
Stange is no stranger to controversy. In 2001, the 65-year-old German was given the opportunity to guide Oman to the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea and Japan but was fired after less than three months in the job.
After a year out of work, Stange took up the post of Iraq national manager in October 2002, despite escalating threats of an invasion of the country led by United States and British forces.
He consulted football's world governing body, FIFA, and the German foreign office before taking the Iraq job, but when a picture of the smiling coach in front of a portrait of Saddam Hussein appeared in newspapers he became the victim of a tabloid hate campaign back in Germany.
He was forced to flee when the conflict began but returned after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Prior to taking the Singapore post, Stange was the coach of the Belarus national team. He resigned after the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign ended in October 2011.

COMMENT - none really. Bit of an unknown quantity in the region but I have come across him before elsewhere. In 1984 he was coach of East Germany who I saw play a friendly at Wembley. The picture comes from that programme!

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