S-League: Red-hot Rams job

One name is etched in local football history, after DPMM FC became the first foreign side to a lift trophy on Singapore soil in 2009.

Another guided Woodlands Wellington to their only piece of silverware since the inception of the S-League in 1996.

The final person is a former Singapore international who captained the Rams just three years ago.

All three - former DPMM coach Vjeran Simunic; Jorg Steinebrunner, who led Woodlands to the inaugural League Cup in 2007, and Geylang International assistant coach Noor Ali - are all keen on leading the Rams next season.

The football fraternity is abuzz with talk that Salim Moin will leave Woodlands to take over as coach of Tampines Rovers.

While Woodlands have yet to confirm the vacancy, applications for the position of Rams' head coach are already flying in.

"Every year at this time, we receive several resumes from coaches, but until the day that Salim confirms that he is leaving, there is no vacancy at the club," said Rams' manager Matthew Tay Tuesday.

Sources close to the club confirmed that Salim and his assistant Clement Teo have already met the management, and while the outcome of that meeting remains unclear, all signs point to Salim joining reigning three-time S-League champions Tampines ahead of the 2014 season.

The club confirmed receiving the applications of Simunic and Noor, and a source has told The New Paper that Steinebrunner has also thrown his hat into the ring.

With Salim, former Singapore international, pulling the strings, perennial strugglers Woodlands stunned the football fraternity by finishing fifth in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League this year without any established stars in the team.


While he is proud of the achievements of the Brunei side in his time in the S-League, Simunic would love the opportunity to guide a local team.

"In 2009 we came into the S-League with a bunch of part-time local players, but stood shoulder to shoulder with big teams like Home United and Tampines," said the Croat, whose contract at DPMM runs out at the end of the month.

He will be replaced by former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean.

Simunic won the League Cup with DPMM in their first year in Singapore in 2009 and the club were in the hunt for the S-League title until the final few weeks, before Fifa banned them from completing the season due to issues with its parent Football Association.

Simunic repeated the League Cup win following DPMM's return to domestic football last year.

"I think can do something in the S-League - and it will be even better to achieve something with a local team," he said.

"Personally, I am still hungry. And I'm keen to join Woodlands."

Noor, whose contract with Geylang runs out at the end of the year, is also hungry for the Woodlands job.

"Even though it's not certain that Salim will join Tampines, the current state of Woodlands is a great challenge for any coach, and I wanted to make my interest known early," he said.

"They've done brilliantly this season, proving that big names and big budgets are not the only way to ensure success in football.

"Salim's will be a hard act to follow, but the opportunity to try to take the team further forward is one that is hard to ignore."

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