Budgie joins FAS

John Burridge played for 29 clubs during a career which spanned 30 years, amassing 771 games in the English and Scottish leagues.

After a player-manager spell in England, the former goalkeeper coached in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The next stop for the globetrotting Englishman: Singapore.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirmed yesterday that Burridge, who has kept goal for Newcastle United and Manchester City, has been hired as a goalkeeping coach instructor.

"The FAS has offered John Burridge a goalkeeper coaching position to complement the duties and responsibilities of (current national goalkeeper coach) Lee Bee Seng," an FAS spokesman said.

"Burridge will work with the head coaches of all national teams and conduct goalkeeping courses.

"With his vast international experience, he will assist with the identification of goalkeeping talent and the mentoring of goalkeeper coaches."

Burridge's most recent appointment was goalkeeper coach at UAE club Al Wasl.

The 62-year-old, known affectionately as "Budgie", is with the Young Lions squad currently on a month-long training camp in Antalya, Turkey.

He could not be reached for comment, but wrote on his twitter account yesterday morning: "Here's the big news I promised you.

"I have left Dubai's Al Wasl club and joined (the) Singapore national team. Massive change in my life. Needed it."


Former Lions shot-stopper Lee, who has been in the national set-up since 2002, will continue coaching Singapore's top goalkeepers and Malaysian Super League club side the LionsXII.

National coach Bernd Stange said the Englishman's experience will come in handy for Singapore football.

"We have several squads - from the national team to the South-east Asia Games team and the LionsXII - and we cannot let Bee Seng deal with all that alone," said the German. "Burridge is a fantastic coach, and we definitely need more professional coaching.

"I have a lot of respect for the coaches who make themselves free almost every night to come and work with the teams, but we cannot keep working with part-time coaches."

- Additional reporting by Shamir Osman


John Burridge (right) was the oldest to play in the English Premier League, when he turned out for Manchester City in 1995 at the age of 43.

Holder of a Uefa pro licence, he played a key role in Omani goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi's rise to stardom with English side Bolton Wanderers and then Wigan.

He was also responsible for developing England international goalkeepers Nigel Spink, Nigel Martyn, Tim Flowers and Paul Robinson.

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