SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) new head coach of national youth teams Richard Tardy tore into the displays of the National Football Academy's (NFA) Under-16 and U-15 teams, calling the performances at the Lion City Cup "not good enough".
The Frenchman made his comments after the U-16s had beaten their juniors 3-2 in the third place playoff at Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday evening.
Tardy listed three key weaknesses that the youngsters need to work on - Technique, physique and mentality.
The 64-year-old said: "If they don't have good technique, they cannot play at a high level. Some miss easy balls to control, some play long passes but do not know why."
Yesterday evening, both teams started brightly, playing attractive, passing football. But sapped of energy after half-time, long balls were deployed.
Tardy continued: "They need more speed. There were some problems with endurance.
"Many players had cramps, which was very odd."
During yesterday's game, the U-15s took the lead through defender Syed Akmal in the 25th minute before U-16 midfielder Idraki Adnan burst through to drill the ball into the bottom corner a minute before half-time.
In the 72nd minute, U-15 striker Glenn Kwey's persistence paid off when he finished off a counter-attack at his second attempt.
However, his team collapsed dramatically when they were close to the finishing line by conceding twice in the final four minutes through U-16 defender Nazhiim Harman's header and giving away a penalty in stoppage time which captain Saifullah Akbar converted.
Tardy, who successfully steered Rwanda to the Under-17 World Cup in 2011, said of the Singaporean players' mentality: "Some players are in their comfort zones during training.
"They get surprised when they play Liverpool or Tottenham.
"I was very angry when they (U-15s) lost 3-0 (to Spurs).
"Many people are happy we drew 3-3 with Liverpool but the boys didn't play serious, that's why they didn't play in the final.
"When you play for the colours of your country, you must give 120 per cent from the beginning to the end of the game."
And the hard-hitting coach insists he will continue to voice out his observations, saying: "It is very important to give the truth. They must know they are not good enough."
This article was first published on August 17, 2015.
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