Fandi and Bok the leading candidates to replace Sundram as LionsXII chief

Fandi and Bok the leading candidates to replace Sundram as LionsXII chief
Richard Bok.

And then there were two.

The New Paper understands that the two front-runners for the LionsXII head coach position are Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad and Richard Bok, the most successful coach in S-League history.

Interestingly, both coaches worked together at SAFFC - now known as Warriors FC - from 2000 to 2003, with Bok assisting Fandi in four successful seasons that yielded two S-League titles.

Last week, TNP revealed that the duo were among six shortlisted, after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had received more than 70 applications after placing a recruitment advertisement for the position.

The shortlisted applicants will take turns to be interviewed by a panel that includes national coach Bernd Stange and national technical director Slobodan Pavkovic, and go through both a video analysis test and a written test.

It is understood that Fandi, 51, and Bok, 44, had impressed the panel in their tests and interviews, and either could be appointed as the new LionsXII coach.

DEADLINE

After the FAS is done with interviews and deliberation, the appointment will be made by the end of the month.

The LionsXII lifted the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title this year and the roster for next year's squad is currently being worked out.

Three key players - skipper Shahril Ishak, vice-captain Hariss Harun and centre back Baihakki Khaizan - will move across the Causeway to join Johor teams.

However, the defending MSL champions have managed to retain the services of top defender Safuwan Baharudin.

Star striker Khairul Amri has also rejoined the team, alongside new signing Afiq Yunos, as the LionsXII get ready to finalise their squad before the Dec 14 registration deadline.

The LionsXII kick off their campaign on Jan 17 with the Charity Shield match against Malaysia Cup winners Pahang, which will also count as both teams' first MSL fixture of the new season.

While the tie will be decided on penalties if it ends in a draw, the result after 90 minutes will be counted in the league.


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