Fans bid farewell to Radojko Avramovic

It was an emotional night for the long-serving coach as supporters of the Lions took time out to send off the Serbian
By Khalis Rifhan

While many were glued to their couches watching the unfortunate defeat of LionsXII at the hands of bottom-placed team Selangor PKNS in the Malaysian Super League, a handful of fans were making their way down to the Changi Airport to send off former Singapore coach Radojko ‘Raddy’ Avramovic.

Raddy, who was appointed in 2003, stepped down as the nations’ football coach after the recently concluded AFF Suzuki Cup, in which the Serbian guided the Lions to their third title under his charge, having won it in 2004 and 2006. 

Almost all who came to the airport on Tuesday night were from supporters group ‘Lions All The Way’, who stood firm and gave their unwavering support to the Lions even when the chips were down.

Speaking to Singapore, Li Huai Min said that he grew up with Raddy at the helm and that being able to see the coach off was the least he could do. 

“I just want to show that I appreciate the things that he did for Singapore football," said Li.

"I started watching football in early 2005, during a match between Singapore and Malaysia if I remember correctly, and it’s like growing up watching him.”

Raddy would probably not let his memories of LATW fade away too soon as he had previously praised the group's efforts when they were first spotted at Jalan Besar Stadium. 

"It is the first time I'm seeing people trying to cheer and help the team, it's a good sign,” said Raddy then to the media after their friendly match against Maldives.

While it is the end of a chapter for Raddy, the search for a successor is gaining momentum with applications to succeed the Serbian closing last Friday. 

Although the names of applicants are not made known to public, Singapore revealed in an exclusive interview that former Serie A coach Mario Beretta had confirmed his bid to take up the hot seat.

The Singapore national team will next be in action on February 6, as they start their Asian Cup Qualifying campaign away to Jordan. FAS had previously announced that a caretaker coach will lead the team should a new hire not be made in time.