Weaver: Sugiyama could be Singapore coach

Hougang coach, Alexander Weaver, believes that someone like the Albirex Niigata (S) boss could be a good replacement for Raddy

The Singapore national team has yet to find their full-time coach and while former S.League player, Dragan Talajic, and current East Timor coach, Emerson Alcantara, were the latest names to join the long list of hopefuls to succeed Radojko Avramovic, Hougang United coach, Alexander Weaver recently gave his insight on the issue.

The Englishman has been aware of the situation with the Singapore national coach position and after his team’s defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) in Friday's S.League clash, Weaver hinted that Koichi Sugiyama could be a good choice.

“Someone like Sugi [Sugiyama] knows Singapore and has the passion and ability to develop young players,” he said.

The Hougang coach backed up his suggestion when he mentioned the state of Japanese football which has seen vast improvements structurally over the past 12 years.

“[The Japanese] took on a philosophy and have developed their players to be technically good on the ball and they’ve done this with the youth teams as well as the national team,” he added.

Weaver continued to suggest that if Sugiyama was given a license to take on the role of Singapore head coach - with his own staff and a group of local coaches - to instill the Japanese philosophy with its long term vision to develop players, it could “serve better than to put those ‘well-established’ names out there.”

The Hougang coach queried: “You really got to question whether these [well-established’ names] have that desire to improve Singapore football.”

In previous reports, Football Association of Singapore President Zainudin Nordin has said that it will be very thorough with their selection and will not rush to make a decision.

Other names on the list of hopefuls include former Real Madrid coach Benito Floro and also ex-Serie A coach Mario Beretta.

Since the departure of Avramovic, former Singapore international, V. Sundramoorthy, has been appointed the interim head coach of the Lions.

Sugiyama played for Urawa Reds in the J-League in the 1990s and had stints at Verdy Kawasaki and Tokyo Verdy before retiring at Albirex Niigata in J-League 2. He was appointed head coach of Albirex Niigata (S) in 2010 and lead them to their first silverware in the S.League with the League Cup triumph the following year.

Under his two-year reign, the White Swans recorded their best finishes in all competitions, as they finished runners-up in the Singapore Cup in 2011 and placed third in the S.League, the highest position since their introduction in 2004.

In his second year at the club, Sugiyama also claimed the Coach of the Year award at the 2011 S.League Awards Night.