Press Releases ● May 15, 2013

FAS Appoints Bernd Stange As New National Coach

The ‘Florence Nightingale’ of local football, Nurhafizah Abu Sujad broadens the reach of her quest to keep footballers in top condition, joining the Lion City Sailors while retaining her role as National Teams Head Physiotherapist.

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SINGAPORE, 15 MAY 2013: The Football Association of Singapore today announced that it has appointed Bernd Stange as the next National Team Head Coach on a two-year contract.

 

Mr Stange’s illustrious coaching career includes leading Belarus during the recent UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign where they defeated France in an away qualifier. The 65-year-old achieved several remarkable results during his term as national coach of Belarus, including victories over the Netherlands as well as draws against traditional powerhouses Germany and Argentina. Mr Stange, who had also coached the national teams of East Germany and Iraq, led Belarus to a FIFA ranking of 36th in 2011, up from 90th spot in 2008.

 

During Mr Stange’s term as national coach of Iraq, FIFA presented the Presidential Award 2003 to the Iraqi football community – in recognition of their energy and determination to drive forward the development of football despite the difficult situation in the country at that time.

 

Mr Stange said: “The post of National Team Head Coach is always a challenging one for any coach – more so in a country like Singapore where football is the number one sport and whose national team are now champions of the region.

 

“I am deeply honoured to have been appointed from a pool of more than 100 qualified candidates. It was a rigorous process which enabled both FAS and I to have a clear understanding of each other’s objectives and goals, and I am both impressed and motivated by the professionalism, vision and footballing goals of the Association.

 

“While I recognize that the task ahead will not be easy, I am confident and I believe my experience at the international level and contacts in the game will be an asset to Singapore football. I understand the constraints and challenges faced by the national sports associations in Singapore, including FAS, and I urge all stakeholders to support us and work together as a team as we strive to optimize our resources and maximize our success. I am looking forward with excitement to playing a role to further develop football in this beautiful country.”

 

FAS President Zainudin Nordin said: “Bernd is one of the most respected coaches in Europe today and he brings with him a wealth of international experience, ability and track record of building and managing successful teams despite the constraints. Bernd, who is known to command respect from high-profile players, also has a vast network of contacts which further convinced us that he is the best choice to build on our success and bring Singapore football to the next level.

 

“As we mentioned previously, we have a rigorous recruitment process in place to ensure that we select only the best available person. Through our own contacts and referrals from our partners including FIFA, UEFA and several leading Football Associations, we received applications from many qualified candidates who, together with those submitted by Sports Recruitment International, were part of the long list.

 

“We subsequently trimmed the list to about 15 candidates, who boast impressive coaching credentials and experience, and conducted our due diligence before reducing the list to five. Apart from face-to-face interviews with the candidates, we also consulted several leading personnel in the sports and football industries with the objective of ensuring that we appoint the best available person to assume the key post of National Team Head Coach.”

 

Mr Zainudin added: “Bernd’s immediate target is to work with V. Sundramoorthy, who is the Head Coach of the 2013 SEA Games team and his assistant, Aide Iskandar, to prepare our team for the competition which will take place in December. Bernd will also oversee the preparations for the 2015 SEA Games as we strive to clinch the gold medal at the competition which will be held in Singapore. With his wealth of experience, Bernd will also play a key role in mentoring local coaches including V. Sundramoorthy and Aide Iskandar, and we hope that a local coach will be appointed as the National Coach soon.

 

“Notwithstanding the progress of our national team and youth development programmes in recent years, there remains much hard work ahead. We will support Bernd to the best of our abilities and work closely with him as we strive towards the goals spelt out in the Strategic Plan as well as the mid-term and immediate targets we have set. At the same time, we look forward to the continued support of our stakeholders, including the fans, media, sponsors and relevant agencies, which is critical to our success.”

 

National team captain Shahril Ishak expressed excitement over the appointment of the new head coach. “As a player, I am delighted that the FAS has secured the services of one of the most experienced coaches in football today. Coach Bernd Stange has a proven track record at the top international level and had taken on the likes of Germany, Argentina, France, England and the Netherlands in recent years. His experience in Europe and Asia will be a value-add to local football and like any other player, I look forward to being part of Coach Bernd’s team and work together with him to raise our standards even further.”

 

V Sundramoorthy, who has been appointed head coach for SEA Games squad, said: “I am really happy to be given the opportunity early this year to take our young players to the SEA Games in Myanmar this December. Many of our young players have had the chance to gain the necessary experience ahead of the Games while playing against older and tougher opponents in the S.League and the Malaysian Super League. There are several plans, including centralised training programmes and participating in overseas competitions to better prepare the squad prior to the tournament.

 

“I also hope to learn from Bernd, who has vast experience with a proven track record at the top international level with different countries in East Germany, Iraq and Belarus. He has worked with many high-profile players, and our players will get to learn a lot under his guidance.  I look forward to teaming up with Bernd to bring Singapore Football to the next level.” added Sundramoorthy.

 

Ms Helen Soulsby, Director (Asia) at Sports Recruitment International, said: “After undergoing a rigorous process which commenced last year, we are delighted that FAS has appointed Mr Bernd Stange as its next National Team Head Coach. We appreciate the professionalism of FAS officials and it was a joy working with them. It is also a great honour and privilege to play a part in assisting the FAS in this key recruitment process, and we are proud to have added FAS to our list of clients which includes Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, Juventus FC and other leading sports organisations such as UEFA and IOC. We are confident that FAS and Bernd are well positioned to scale greater heights in the coming years and we wish them the very best.”