The Singapore legend was appointed as the new coach of the Malaysian Super League champions on a three-year contract, succeeding the departed V. SundramoorthyMost LionsXII supporters got their wish last Sunday when Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad was appointed as the new coach of the LionsXII.
The 51-year-old succeeds title-winning V. Sundramoorthy, who left for Negeri Sembilan after leading the LionsXII to the Malaysian Super League crown last season.
Fandi, who called it quits at Johor Darul Takzim last season, has signed a three-year contract with the option to extend for a further two more. he holds the AFC Pro Diploma Coaching License, the highest coaching certification in Asia, led Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAFFC, now Warriors FC) to two S.League titles in 2000 and 2002. He was also assistant coach when Singapore won the 2005 Tiger Cup (now AFF Suzuki Cup) and brought the Young Lions to third place in both the 2004 and 2006 S.League seasons.
With stalwarts like Baihakki Khaizan, Shahril Ishak and Hariss Harun all having departed the team, Fandi has admitted that it will "not be easy" for the LionsXII to defend their title.
And the majority of Goal Singapore readers seem to have agreed with him, with 55.2% of them saying that a top-three finish will be considered as a good achievement in Fandi's debut season with the LionsXII. 28.4% think that he could even struggle to lead them to a top-three finish, with only the remaining 16.4% optimistic that the LionsXII can retain their crown.
On his part, Fandi has already declared that he is confident a top-three finish can be achieved, while also stating that the LionsXII will try to reach a Cup final.
Fandi commences work on December 12 and his first task will be to face Pahang FA in the 2014 MSL curtain-raiser Charity Cup match on January 17.