He created history when he led Rwanda to their first-ever appearance in a Fifa World Cup Finals, and Richard Tardy is set to try and work his magic in Singapore.
The Frenchman, who successfully steered Rwanda's Under-17 team to the Under-17 World Cup Finals in 2011, is understood to be the man the Football Association Singapore (FAS) will appoint as a coaches' instructor.
His principal mission is to groom coaches and help take local football standards to the next level.
It is believed that Tardy, who turns 65 on July 29, is already in Singapore.
On the sidelines of the draw of this year's Lion City Cup youth tournament at the Oasia Hotel yesterday, FAS president Zainudin Nordin confirmed it has its man.
He told The New Paper: "We had left the enhancement of our technical team to our technical director (Michel Sablon), and he has always insisted one of the key pillars of youth development is to have good youth coaches.
"To groom good youth coaches, you need to have very high calibre trainers.
"Being able to get (our) man, who has an astute vision of youth development... and with the input of our technical director, I am confident the new technical team in the FAS will be able to do the three key things they set out to do: Coaches' development, high-quality competition and matches, and spotting of talent."
At its Annual General Meeting last year, the FAS announced its intention to bid for the 2019 U-17 World Cup.
As part of the mission, the FAS said it will appoint a top-class technical director and coaching instructor.
On April 9, the FAS appointed Belgian Sablon as its technical director.
The 67-year-old is widely recognised as the mastermind of Belgium's blueprint that produced the country's current "golden generation" of footballers like Chelsea's Premier League Player of the Year Eden Hazard and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
And now the FAS has got Tardy.
An unheralded former striker with various French lower league sides, Tardy worked with French national youth teams between 1980 and 1997.
He assisted former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, a good friend of Sablon, during France's U-18 European Championship triumph in 1996.
Tardy also had coaching stints in Greece, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Morocco and the Middle East, before joining Rwanda's football set-up as they prepared to host the African U-17 Championship in January 2011.
Although they were still recovering from a genocide about two decades earlier, Tardy's youngsters defied critics and made it to the final, where they were beaten by Burkina Faso.
Rwanda earned a ticket to the U-17 World Cup Finals in Mexico as one of the top four African teams, and finished their campaign with one point from a 0-0 draw with Canada.
They crashed out of a group that included England and Uruguay.
This article was first published on July 11, 2015.
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