Football: Stephen Ng set to helm Brunei Under-16s

Tasked with supporting the National Football Academy (NFA) Under-14 team at the recently-concluded Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, Stephen Ng spent match days behind a camcorder video-taping the game, instead of on the bench.

The 43-year-old played only a supporting role to U-14 head coach Takuma Koga, and Football Association of Singapore (FAS) technical director Slobodan Pavkovic, who served as technical adviser to the team.

In a move that has surprised many in the football fraternity here, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) yesterday announced that Ng has been hired as head coach of their national U-16 team.

Sources said he will be paid $8,000 a month in Brunei, more than double what he is making right now.

Bound for Brunei

TNP understands that Mike Wong is another Singaporean who is poised to join the NFABD, the former Geylang United coach set to be the association's technical director, as early as next month.

Ng's contract was due to run out in December, with a source close to the former Gombak man revealing that the FAS did not provide him with a work station during his time there, nor did they make a move to discuss his future with him.

In response to TNP queries, the FAS said: "Stephen informed us earlier this week that he had received a good overseas opportunity, and that he would be keen to take up the challenge.

"We accepted his request, taking into consideration that the team are not participating in any other international tournaments this year."

Gombak United chairman John Yap was pleased to hear the news about Ng's appointment.

"Stephen is very meticulous in preparing his team for matches, and he is on the ball (enthusiastic), almost to a fault," said Yap, under whom Ng handled the club's Centre of Excellence (COE) team before it was closed down earlier this year.

"He is very professional, and I think he will fly the Singapore flag proudly."

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