Changes to S-League to suit Stange's strategy

Changes to S-League to suit Stange's strategy
Photo: Bernd Stange

National coach Bernd Stange's strategy is clear: The Lions will play a possession- based pass-and-move brand of football that requires both a high level of fitness and detailed preparation.

And, starting next year, the S-League will see changes to aid Stange's national cause.

Its mandatory fitness test will be tweaked, as will the schedule of fixtures, but more drastic changes are in store in the long run.

Perhaps in view of the impending launch of the ASEAN Super League (ASL) in 2015, the S-League of the future could see a merging of teams - to make clubs stronger and the league more competitive - as well as clubs sharing stadiums.

Support

"We are looking into ways in which the league can support the national team, and one of the ways is by helping push up fitness levels," S-League chief executive Lim Chin told The New Paper, at the sidelines of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) annual general meeting yesterday.

Currently, S-League players have to complete a 2.4km run within 10min 15sec to pass, while those who finish under 8m 30sec are awarded a $200 cash incentive.

While Lim did not provide specified times, both these marks look set to be lowered next year.

He added that S-League fixtures may be moved to give the national team more time to prepare for international fixtures.

Further in the future, more changes could be in store for local clubs.

"While next year we are most likely to stick with the same 12 teams in the league, going forward, we must help make clubs stronger, and able to perform both on and off the pitch," said Lim.

"We are re-looking at the demographic of the league and its funding model... and a merger of clubs is one of the ideas we have spoken about, as well as having clubs share stadiums."


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