The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has confirmed that Fandi Ahmad will take charge of LIONSXII in the 2014 Malaysia Super League campaign.
The reigning Super League champions were left looking for a new boss following the departure of V. Sundramoorthy, who left to join Negeri Sembilan after two years in charge of the Singaporean side.
Although there were no shortage of contenders for the vacancy, Fandi was constantly named as one of the frontrunners, along with ex-Warriors FC boss Richard Bok.
However, it was confirmed on Saturday evening that the 51-year-old, one of Singapore’s favourite footballing sons, had won the race after signing a three-year deal.
“I am delighted and honoured to have been selected from a pool of more than 70 applicants and I would like to thank the Football Association of Singapore for the opportunity to build on the success achieved by coach V. Sundramoorthy,” he said on the club’s official website.
“I know from experience that it will not be easy for the league champions to defend the title. Having said that, I am happy that we have a strong team which includes at least 15 players who have been capped at international level.
“The composition of the team – including both players and backroom staff, coupled with the support from my colleagues and stakeholders, has given me confidence that we can secure a top-three placing in the league. We will also try our best to reach the final of a cup competition.”
FAS general secretary Winston Lee expressed his belief that the LIONSXII could improve further under Fandi, who has had coaching spells in Indonesia and Malaysia and also enjoyed some success in the S.League with Warriors and Courts Young Lions.
“Apart from his illustrious playing career, Fandi is one of the most respected coaches in Singapore today and he brings with him a wealth of experience at both domestic and regional levels,” Lee said. “Including the Indonesian and Malaysian football leagues.
“We are confident in his abilities to bring the LIONSXII to the next level.”
Fandi will begin his stint in charge of the LIONSXII in next season’s Charity Shield against Pahang, the same side he played against in his final Malaysia Cup game back in 1994.