Nazri could join Fandi at LionsXII

Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad could begin his latest chapter in local football by signing a two-year contract to coach the LionsXII as early as today.

The 51-year-old told The New Paper yesterday that negotiations with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) are going smoothly.

"Everything is progressing well," said Fandi. "We just need to sort out a few details in the contract and also things like the players and backroom staff roster."

Featuring a mix of talented local youngsters and established Singapore internationals, the LionsXII have been playing in Malaysia's club competitions for the past two years.

Last Sunday, TNP revealed that the FAS had identified the former Singapore captain as the man to replace V Sundramoorthy, who left the LionsXII for second-tier Malaysian side Negeri Sembilan, after guiding the team to the Malaysian Super League (MSL) title this year.

The hunt for a new coach drew more than 70 applicants, and the FAS has decided that Fandi's name is on top of the list.

TNP understands that the FAS has lined up another Lions' centurion and former national captain Nazri Nasir to assist Fandi in the LionsXII's third MSL campaign, which kicks off with the Charity Shield match against Pahang on Jan 17 in Kuantan.

Interestingly, Fandi and Nazri were teammates in the Singapore side that won the M-League and Malaysia Cup double in 1994.

The 42-year-old's contract as the National Football Academy Under-15 coach ends in February and will not be renewed.

Another coach the FAS is believed to be considering is Richard Bok, the former SAFFC coach who guided the club to four S-League titles.

Bok did apply for the LionsXII position and was on the final shortlist.

Fandi knows the two of them well, and said: "You know me lah, I can work with almost anybody. "Whether it's Richard or Nazri, I have no problems working with either of them."

If Fandi agrees terms with the FAS, he will take on a diminished role in his F-17 Fandi Ahmad's Academy of Football Excellence.

"That shouldn't be a problem because I have my partners and capable coaches to take care of the academy."

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