Singapore Golf Association looking for new national coach

Singapore Golf Association looking for new national coach
PHOTO: The New Paper, Marc Seow

With Australian Luke Cantelo's sudden departure after only 15 months, the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) is looking for a new national coach.

And response to the SGA advertisement for the job has been overwhelming, with 16 applicants to date.

Of the 16, it is believed that only two are locals - former top professional Samson Gimson and new professional Jerome Ng.

Samson, 51, is a former South-east Asia Games (SEA) gold medallist and a winner on the Japan Tour who returned from Japan after almost 20 years last month.

He believes that his experience as a top professional, and later instructor, will place him in good stead for the post.

Ng, 26, who until two months ago was a member of the SEA Games squad, feels that his 12-year stint as a junior and senior national squad representative will help him understand his former colleagues and new enlistees.

Among the other applicants are Andrew Welsford, Chris Marriott, Brad McManus and Greg Anketell - all capable and experienced coaches.

Deliberation

SGA president Bob Tan said: "My committee members and I will decide on the coach after much deliberation over the next few days.

"There are some good applicants."

While it will be a tough choice as the majority of coaches come with almost similar backgrounds but different strengths, the SGA must ensure that it selects a person who understands the Singapore sports landscape and local culture.

Ng's application comes with a unique twist.

The affable golfer has paired up with Australian Welsford, now based in Sydney, to work in tandem and discharge the responsibilities of the coach's job.

Ng said: "I have had a long association with the SGA and have trained under former national coaches Greg Anketel, Brad McManus and Chris Marriott during my time with the national squads.

"I am aware of what the job entails, know the players well and surely understand the Singapore culture.

"Tapping on Welsford's knowledge and ability places me in the best position as I understand the players' problems.

"And one area in which I can learn from Welsford is in developing junior players and organising the schools junior programmes.

"With Welsford willing to come to Singapore regularly, if our application is successful, we can organise our programmes and plans in a coordinated manner."

Ng has also played with the current crop of players, namely the Putra Cup team members (Gregory Foo, Abdul Hadi and Joshua Ho) who will compete in the regional event in Thailand next month.

He said: "In that sense, I can connect with the players, understand their problems and work out solutions. The game has given me so much, and now it is time for me to give back."


This article was first published on August 6, 2015.
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