Football: Irmscher set to resume Stange partnership

SINGAPORE - Often sitting along the sidelines and usually a silent observer, Harald Irmscher has been spotted at stadia across the island, from Toa Payoh to Jalan Besar and even across the Causeway at Larkin, since the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) appointed Bernd Stange as national coach in April.

Irmscher, a 67-year-old former East German international, has been at Stange's side in Germany (with the country's Olympic and various national teams), Cyprus (club side Apollon Limassol), and most recently, in Belarus.

He is now set to renew the partnership here.

The New Paper understands that the FAS will announce Irmscher's appointment once it secures a work permit for him.

In response to TNP queries, an FAS spokesman said: "He (Irmscher) will work closely with national coach Stange, technical director Slobodan Pavkovic and other officials as well as players and coaches at various levels, including the S-League, to further enhance their development.

"With his experience, Irmscher is someone who can contribute to the ongoing implementation of our strategic plan, and add value to the various aspects of local football."

Irmscher has attended Stange's sessions with the Lions as a guest adviser, and watched the team beat Laos 5-2 in a friendly in Vientiane.

Based on his interactions with the German, Singapore and LionsXII midfielder Isa Halim believes Irmscher will boost football here.

"He shares a similar view with our coach (Stange) on how to improve Singapore football, and he's an open person who does not distance himself from players," said Isa.

The 27-year-old believes that augurs well for the future of the national team. "He hasn't been so involved yet, but he has analysed games, has an overview of the team shape and has already spoken to players to give them pointers."

LionsXII coach V Sundramoorthy and Courts Young Lions' Aide Iskandar have already been roped in to assist Stange with the national team, but the FAS stayed mum over how Irmscher's appointment would affect the two former Singapore internationals.

Their spokesman said: "We will make an announcement once the details are finalised."

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