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 By Gabriel Tan

Richard Tardy replaces Selvaraj as Garena Young Lions coach in S.League

Richard Tardy was appointed as the new coach of S.League outfit Garena Young Lions on Wednesday after V. Selvaraj stepped down due to family reasons.

Selvaraj, who was only handed the reins at the start of the year, had a difficult start to the campaign.

Under his leadership, Young Lions initially lost their opening seven games of 2017, which included heavy 6-1, 5-0, and 4-0 defeats to Home United, Albirex Niigata (S) and Tampines Rovers.

They finally picked up their first point of the campaign on Sunday when they held Brunei DPMM to a 1-1 draw, but that match has since proven to be Selvaraj's swansong.

Nonetheless, despite their disappointing results thus far, it appears that it is non-footballing reasons that have led to a parting of ways with Selvaraj.

Garena Young Lions in 2017
Garena Young Lions earned their first point of the season against Brunei DPMM last Sunday.

"It has been an honour to be part of the FAS [Football Association of Singapore] setup and I greatly appreciate the various opportunities given to me, including the appointment as Head Coach of the Garena Young Lions - a very young but talented team," said the ex-Singapore international in a media release.

"Our boys have done very well over the past few months and have been unlucky not to have secured better results against the professional teams in the league.

"As much as I really enjoy working with the FAS management... I have decided, after much consideration, to step down due to family reasons."

Fortunately for all involved, his replacement is no stranger to them given Tardy is currently also in charge of the Singapore Under-22 national team, which is largely made up of Young Lions players.

The Frenchman has been involved in the youth setup at FAS since July 2015 and will lead the Singapore U22 side at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur in August.

"We are saddened by Selvaraj's decision to step down from his position but we respect his decision - especially in view of his reasons," said Tardy.

"He has been a good colleague, both on and off the field, and I personally hope that he will make a return to the coaching fraternity soon.

"Selvaraj and the GYL backroom setup have done a good job in preparing our boys for the upcoming SEA Games competition and going forward, I will work closely with the rest of the coaching staff as we embark on the final phase of our ongoing preparations for the biennial competition."

The FAS also confirmed Tardy will only be in charge of Young Lions until the conclusion of the SEA Games, and that the search for Selvaraj's permanent successor will soon commence.

Gabriel Tan is a TV and radio pundit who writes for ESPN FC and The New Paper on Southeast Asian football. Twitter: @gabetan13.

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