Sunday, January 04, 2015


Should FAS Appoint Foreign Tecnhical Director?

The old foreigner v local debate is coming to the fore again. This time it is in Singapore where the FAS are reportedly looking for a technical director. Media reports suggest five names have been shortlisted for the position, all from Europe.

A chorus of voices from within Singapore are calling for the FAS to look closer to their own doorstep before committing to a large contract for a foreigner with little knowledge of Singapore and its football.

Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic says 'Forget a foreigner, get a local technical director. If Singapore is in Europe, then someone who has experience in European football is ideal'.

Singapore football has its own twists and quirks that can take some getting used to especially for someone coming over from an environment where local sport is treated seriously.

Sasikumar, a former Singapore international, agrees. 'We don’t need someone to tell us that Singapore lacks the facilities; Singapore does not have the football culture and the National Service commitment is hampering the development of young talent here.'

How many times have we heard people, including me, moan about Singapore and its attitude to local football. And yes we love a good laugh at the idea the national team trains on a field in the middle of a red light district but these are things a TD needs to work around and not waste time and energy getting frustrated about.

Former Singapore international John Wilkinson is adamant any new TD needs to be a good communicator. 'It will be nice to see a TD come in with some charisma and social skills, able to engage the media and capture the attention of the fans....But it seems that comes at a price either too expensive or completely unvalued by the FAS.'

However, Wilkinson, now carving out a niche for himself as a knowledgeable TV pundit, feels a new TD is just one of many areas the FAS needs to work on and he is not overly optimistic.

It is an interesting debate and one that is going on at a time when Indonesia have just appointed Pieter Huistra, a former Dutch international, as their own TD.

At the end of the day, as Deng Xiaping once said, it doesn't matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches the mouse!

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