Replies to Media ● Mar 17, 2015

FAS’ Reply To Media Query On Under-22 NT’s Preparations For AFC Under-23 Championship Qualifiers

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As with all our national teams, we always ensure that there are adequate preparations in place before a major competition. As part of a long-term plan, the Singapore Cubs was created in 2014 to prepare players for the AFC Under-23 Championship 2016 qualifiers which serves as the qualifiers to the Olympic Games. Richard Bok was appointed to lead this team in the Prime League last year and since his appointment, he has led the team to overseas invitational competitions in Brunei, Vietnam and Bangladesh. He also led the team in friendly matches against Syria and Cambodia more recently.¬†For our final preparations, we brought players from the Under-23 squad who are eligible for the Qualifiers to join the U-22s. Therefore, we wish to reiterate that the team’s preparations for this important regional assignment was a long-term project that began a year ago.

The FAS takes all competitions that we enter a team in seriously. For the Under-23 National Team, the top priority is the SEA Games, while for the Under-22 National Team, the priority is the AFC Under-23 Championship 2016 qualifiers.

It is not FAS’ practice to comment on speculation. As per standard operating procedures, coaches within the national set-up have regular meetings with Head Coach, National Teams Bernd Stange where a recent review of roles and responsibilities was conducted for all coaches. However, Richard Bok will continue to lead the Under-22 National Team as was decided when he was first appointed into the role.

Quote from coach Richard Bok: “I wish to end any speculation regarding my future by stating that I am looking forward to continuing coaching the Under-22 National Team and leading the team for the AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers. I also wish to take this opportunity to state that I am happy to continue working closely with my coaching colleagues to balance the needs of our respective teams. At the moment, we are fully focused on this important assignment ahead of us.”