Fandi still 'considering' coach position

He is the fans' favourite to be the next LionsXII coach, but with the deadline for applications just four days away, Fandi Ahmad has yet to submit his for the job.

The former national football captain told The Straits Times on Monday: "I am still considering."

The 51-year-old declined further comment on taking on the position vacated by V. Sundramoorthy on Oct 7 after leading the LionsXII to the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title this season.

The 48-year-old former national striker will coach Negeri Sembilan next season.

On Oct 12, the Football Association of Singapore advertised in The Straits Times the post of the LionsXII head coach.

Fandi, who was at the launch of the H-Two-O Ultimate Women's Dream Team youth football development initiative at ITE College Central on Monday, had earlier said that he was interested in the job but would like to listen to the FAS' plans first.

A source has even rated his chances of landing the job at "80 per cent" as his leadership qualities and commitment to attacking football have made him the favourite to replace Sundram.

The Straits Times understands that about 20 coaches have applied for the position.

The FAS will form a panel to evaluate the candidates and a shortlist of up to five will be drawn up. It is believed that general secretary Winston Lee, national coach Bernd Stange and technical director Slobodan Pavkovic will be on the panel that will interview the finalists early next month.

The shortlisted coaches are also expected to sit for a written test set by Stange. The new man in charge of the LionsXII will then be named by the end of next month.

One Singaporean coach who has applied is Richard Bok.

The 44-year-old, who is the most successful S-League coach after winning four league titles and three Singapore Cups with former club Singapore Armed Forces FC (now Warriors FC), handed in his application two days after seeing the advertisement.

Bok, who is currently working as an insurance agent, said: "The LionsXII job is a good opportunity to enhance my credentials and I hope to see how I can fare in the MSL.

"It will not be easy to retain the title but I am eager to take up the challenge. I know the players well and I think I can improve the team."

Abdul Halim, director of Offside Sports and Management Consultant, confirmed that he had applied on behalf of two of his clients, David Booth and Bojan Hodak.

Booth, a 65-year-old Englishman, has experience coaching in South-east Asia, having handled the national teams of Brunei and Myanmar.

Hodak is the current Kelantan coach but is set to leave at the end of the season.

Under his guidance, the northern Malaysian state completed the Treble of winning the MSL, Malaysia Cup and Malaysian FA Cup last year, and currently lead ATM 2-1 after the away leg of their semi-final tie.

The 42-year-old Croat said: "I am interested to coach a good team like the LionsXII.

"But I will need to consider other factors, like the style of living, the working environment and the team's plans.

"And money is important because I am a professional and I need to take care of my family."

meng@sph.com.sg


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