Fandi Ahmad to take over as Garena Young Lions coach for 2018
Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad will succeed Vincent Subramaniam as head coach of the Garena Young Lions for the 2018 S.League season, as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced sweeping changes to their coaching staff.
The 55-year-old assumes the responsibilities of preparing the Young Lions for the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games with immediate effect. He will be assisted by former Singapore teammate Nazri Nasir, who was also his right-hand man at LionsXII in the 2014 to 2015 Malaysia campaigns.
The highlight was winning the 2015 Malaysia FA Cup after upsetting Kelantan 3-1 in the final in Kuala Lumpur.
Fandi was last in charge of the Young Lions from 2003 to 2006 and led them to two third-placed finishes (2004 and 2006) in his four seasons in charge.
The former star striker, who was previously focusing on the development of players from the age of 19 to 23, will also take over Richard Tardy's duties of development of players from age 13 to 18.
In a media release sent out by FAS, it was also revealed that Tardy, head of coach of national youth teams, will exit the association at the end of March.
The experienced Frenchman, who was in charge of the Young Lions during the 2016 SEA Games, was supposed to stay till the end of next year. Instead, he will leave earlier "by mutual agreement".
In addition, Singapore U18 coach Christophe Chaintreuil and U15 coach Sofiyan Hamid will also depart at the end of this year, with FAS on a search for their replacements.
Meanwhile, S.League director of operations Kok Wai Leong will also leave after six years with the association.
Tardy's departure is "a result of a strategic shift in the delivery of the youth development plans of FAS and for the preparation of the 2019 SEA Games".
"We thank Richard, Christophe and Sofiyan for their contributions to our youth set-up throughout their time here and wish them well as they pursue new opportunities," FAS president Lim Kia Tong said.
"In particular, we would like to extend our deepest appreciation to Richard for sharing his expertise with us and guiding the youth teams in the past two years."
Singapore fans will hope that the changes spark success in 2018 after a poor year in which saw the national team fail to win a single game and various age-group teams struggle across all levels.
FAS general secretary Winston Lee will leave his post at the end of the month after a decade in the job.
Kenneth Tan is a Singapore-based football writer on S.League and AFC Cup for ESPN FC and FourFourTwo. Twitter: @KennerveT