Tampines coach Salim Moin resigns

BANDAR SERI BENGAWAN - Former Tampines Rovers FC player and assistant coach Rafi Ali has been chosen as the club's new interm head coach on Monday following the announcement of Salim Moin's resignation from the club.

The three-time defending Singapore League (S-League) champions have not been in their best form as of late, currently sitting third in the 12-team table.

They were also knocked out of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup for the third year in a row after going down 1-0 to Myanmar side Nay Pyi Taw FC during group stage play last week.

According to the Singapore edition of online news portal Goal.com, former Singapore international Rafi was shocked by the news of his former head coach's departure but sounded optimistic when asked to comment on the club's future.

"I'm relishing the opportunity that is given to me." Rafi told Goal.com yesterday.

"It came as a shock when Salim resigned, but we have to think of the team, move forward and work to get the team together for Thursday," the 41-year-old added.

The Stags will next meet fifth-placed Albirex Niigata (S) FC at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore tomorrow night, the Japanese side entering the game after winning three of their last five league matches.

"My objective now is just to tell them, 'Okay, we went through a bad patch, let's put that behind, turn the corner as fast as possible and start with a win against Albirex'," Rafi explained.

"The players are mentally and physically tired after the AFC Cup exertions, and I just want to motivate them as much as I can to make them believe that they can do it."

According to the online version of football magazine FourFourTwo, Rafi admitted his time as head coach might be short-lived but promised to do his best regardless of the situation.

"I'm just an interim (head coach). Who knows, tomorrow might be my turn (to leave)," he said.

"I'm just going to continue, and every game will be a cup final for me," he added.

DPMM FC will meet Tampines on June 10 in the S-League. DPMM FC's home encounter at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas saw them lose 2-1.