|By Khalis Rifhan
Following the departure of former national coach Radojko ‘Raddy’ Avramovic in late December 2012, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had widened its efforts to recruit his successor, who will be tasked to further develop Singapore football.
But FAS president Zainudin Nordin has said that the association does not intend to make a hasty decision on the nation's next coach, as they intend to filter through the candidates and make a decision that will benefit the Lions.
With that in mind, FAS has appointed LionsXII coach V.Sundramorrthy as the interim coach to lead the national team for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2015 qualifying match against Jordan in February.
“Since the announcement in late December, we have received an overwhelming response from interested parties for the post of National Team Head Coach," Zainudin said.
“We will draw up an initial list of about 15 candidates, whom we believe share FAS’s footballing vision and are well-qualified to bring Singapore football to the level, before trimming it to a final shortlist of between five and seven candidates.
“As mentioned previously, while we hope to finalise the appointment soon, we will not rush into making any decision. We are determined to appoint the right person for the job.”
Zainudin stressed that their decision will be one that is beneficial to Singapore’s football and in line with their objectives.
“While the upcoming Asian Cup qualifier is important, we must look at the longer-term strategy and objectives of Singapore football as well," he added.
"We have the SEA Games in December, the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2014 and then the Asian Qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic football tournament and SEA Games in the following year.”
“As a forward-looking organisation, we need to ensure that we have the platform and right personnel to achieve our long-term goals."
Goal.com Singapore had previously revealed in an exclusive interview that former Seria A coach Mario Beretta has submitted an application to succeed the outgoing Raddy.
Raddy’s tenure lasted for nine years replacing Dane Jan Poulsen in 2003, who had a disastrous AFF Championship in 2002.
The last local coach to take the national coaching hot seat was Vincent Subramaniam, who took over from fans favourite Englishman Barry Whitebread in 1998.