Nazri: I didn't leave training 'abruptly'

I refer to the article 'Nazri leaves training abruptly' (TNP, Aug 4) and would like to take this opportunity to clarify several points in the article.

I welcome and appreciate the decision by the technical department to appoint Mike Wong as a technical adviser on a part-time basis. I have known Mike for a long time and his experience and expertise in coaching will benefit both my team and I, as we prepare for the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) agegroup competitions.

I would like to add that this is not an uncommon practice with the likes of our national coach and technical director having also served as advisers to other National Football Academy (NFA) coaches in recent years as part of their preparations for competitions.

In fact, technical director Slobodan Pavkovic is now working closely with NFA

Under-14 head coach Takuma Koga to optimise the team's preparations for the upcoming Asian Youth Games (AYG) competition which will be held later this month in Nanjing, China.

In addition, I would like to state that I did not leave the training session, which was scheduled from 5.30pm to 7pm last Friday, "abruptly" or "suddenly", as the report and its headline suggested.

I had earlier agreed to a request to provide commentary for the 'Live' S-League match between Warriors FC and Home United FC on the same day, and hence I left Innova Junior College, which is located in Woodlands, to return to Jalan Besar Stadium at around 6.30pm.

I had earlier informed both Wong and the team manager of this.

The report also quoted an anonymous source who claimed that I had been pressurised by the top (management) to achieve results and that I had been "undermined.

This is far from the truth.

Wong and I had discussed the issue of the days-off and we both agreed to revise the training schedule to optimise our preparations for the upcoming AFF and AFC age-group competitions.

As with all our age-group teams, including the NFA and Courts Young Lions squads, we will always strive to achieve a judicious balance between football competitiveness and youth development and this was communicated by the technical department to all coaches, including myself, before the start of every season.

I will continue to learn from senior coaches, including national coach Bernd Stange, Pavkovic and Wong, as I seek to enhance my knowledge in coaching, which will, in turn, benefit local football.

As a young coach, I am pleased to have the opportunity to learn from Wong.

The fans should take heart that Football Association of Singapore and all our coaches are working hard to bring Singapore football to the next level, and the recent wins at the AFF Suzuki Cup and Malaysia Super League showed that we are moving in the right direction.

NAZRI NASIR National Football Academy Under-15 Coach, Football Association of Singapore

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