V.Sundramoorthy has ended his two-year stay with the LionsXII, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirmed on Monday evening. He has also vacated his position as coach of the Singapore U23 team, with current Courts Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar slated to take over for the SEA Games in December.
Speaking via a media release, Sundram revealed that he was looking for a new challenge despite FAS having offered a 'competitive' package.
“It was not an easy decision to make, especially since FAS had earlier offered me a very competitive and fair package aimed at renewing my contract which would expire in December," he said.
"In addition, I have enjoyed a close relationship with my colleagues and have also received full support from the management at all times. However, I believe it is time for me to embark on a new challenge, especially since this would be my first overseas coaching assignment.
"It has been a satisfying and fulfilling period for me and the various teams I have worked with since joining FAS in 2004.We have established a strong foundation which will be key to the continued growth and success of Singapore football.”
FAS General Secretary Winston Lee also weighed in on Sundram's departure, adding: “We are saddened by Sundram’s decision to leave the organisation but we respect his desire to pursue a new challenge. Coach Sundram has played a pivotal role and made significant contributions to Singapore football for the past nine years, including the recent capture of the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title. We would like to extend our gratitude to Coach Sundram for his commitment and contributions to Singapore football, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”
Sundram had earlier stated that he will make his decision on his future at the end of the Lions' Malaysia Cup campaign. LionsXII crashed out of the competition on Friday following a 4-1 defeat to ATM FA in the second-leg of the quarterfinals.
Reports from Malaysia had linked the former Courts Young Lions coach with a move to Malaysian side Negeri Sembilan FA, who finished last in the 2013 season and will play in the second-tier Malaysian Premier League in 2014.
FAS had announced in August that talks were underway to renew Sundram's contract amidst talk of interest from other Malaysian clubs.
“As I have said on several occasions, I am deeply appreciative of the support and assistance rendered to me by my management and colleagues at FAS," said Sundram via a media release two months ago.
"I appreciate that FAS values my contributions and I am thankful that the management has commenced the discussion process with me regarding a renewal of my contract. Like any professional coach, I would need to consider all key factors before making a decision on my future.”
Media reports from across the causeway have placed the Malaysia Super League winning coach's monthly wages for Negeri Sembilan at USD25,000, a two-fold increase from his current salary with the LionsXII.
FAS have also announced that they will be recruiting for a new coach through an ad placement and will be considering, 'external applicants and those within the FAS setup, for the post of LionsXII Head Coach for the 2014 MSL season'.