Balestier on the hunt for new boss after shock Stewart exit

Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League outfit Balestier Khalsa will have a new man at the helm in 2014 after it was confirmed that they are parting ways with Darren Stewart.

Stewart, who took over at the club at the start of last season, led the Tigers to the two most successful seasons in their history.

In 2012, they finished sixth in the league – their highest-ever position – and won the Plate Competition of the Starhub League Cup, before going one better this year by finishing fourth in the league, reaching the semi-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup and winning the League Cup.

But the affable Australian, along with long-time assistant Kevin Wee, will not be at the Toa Payoh Stadium next season after club chairman S. Thavaneson confirmed their contracts will not be renewed.

“He [Stewart] is contracted until the end of 2013, and we will not retain him for next season,” he told The New Paper.

A Balestier player, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was also quoted by the paper as saying: “We players heard about it on Tuesday and we are all disappointed.

“We pride ourselves on being a united team, so this comes as a big shock.

“Darren and Kevin have played key roles in bringing success to this club, as well as the first major silverware in the League Cup.

“And they always shun the limelight, and prefer to let the players take all the credit.

“Some of us have already signed on to play next season and it is sad that Darren and Kevin won’t be with us.”

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