Singapore coach Stange's age comments draw heated response

The Lions' coach had allegedly said S.League players were too old to rely on for the national team upsetting S.League coach and former Korean international Lee Lim Saeng
Singapore national team Head Coach Bernd Stange's remarks that the average age of S.League teams needs to be lower has drawn sharp criticism from Home United's Lee Lim Saeng.

The former South Korean international took offence to Stange's specific comments on Protectors players Yasir Hanapi and Juma'at Jantan.

Media reports had quoted the German saying the duo had not been seen enough playing time at their club with Yasir's switch from an attacker to a defender also being singled out.

Lee took to his Facebook page in a public posting where he said he does not comment on other coaches, but was compelled to respond as his players had been mentioned.

"Y (Yasir Hanapi) has already played at right wing, striker, central midfield, right back as he's an intelligent player. As he played at right back, he can`t be a national player?" he questioned.

"J (Juma'at) was suffering in his hamstring [for] over 30 days and he is now playing with the team. The coach know about his situation?

"Everyone can have their own views but if you're a coach, you must consider it more before saying!"

Stange had allegedly commented that he was not keen on taking on players above the age of 30 and was looking to blood young players for the national team. Lee added such an approach was discounting the value of senior players.

"Everyone knows about young players who have potential for the future but how about senior players?" he wrote.

"When senior players have proven their ability on the pitch, how about their commitment, contribution and efforts? And when their performances are better than young players, they can`t be national players?"

Lee, who is known for his strict regimental approach has revitalised the careers of several national team players, including Singapore international Qiu Li who was briefly part of Stange's plans as well.

Similarly, Indra Sahdan and Juma'at Jantan both saw recalls to the national team after their stellar performances for Home United last season.

The Protectors are currently sixth in the S.League, seven points behind leaders Brunei DPMM. They last played Woodlands Wellington in the League Cup, triumphing 6-1.

The Singapore national team meanwhile are currently in Austria for a training trip that will see them take on European club sides. They are joined by the Singapore Under-23 side as well who are led by Aide Iskandar.