Press Releases ● Apr 15, 2016

FAS Thanks Outgoing National Coach



SINGAPORE, 15 APRIL 2016: The Football Association of Singapore today thanked outgoing National Coach Bernd Stange for his contributions to Singapore football.

Coach Bernd Stange joined FAS in May 2013 and had earlier indicated that he would not seek a renewal of his contract upon its expiry in April.

FAS President Zainudin Nordin said: “We would like to thank Bernd for his dedication and contributions to Singapore football during the past three years. On the field, many young players who were given their international debut by Bernd have since progressed to becoming first-team regulars in the National Team.

“In addition to the National Team, Bernd had also been tasked to oversee the development of our national Under-23 team and players – although he was not involved in both the final stage of preparations leading to the 2015 SEA Games and during the biennial competition last June.”

Mr Zainudin added: “Beyond his on-the-pitch duties, Bernd also strived to enhance the standards of local football in many areas, including sports science and facilities.

“A man of integrity and honesty, Bernd adheres to the highest standards of professional and ethical values and principles and he has always conducted himself in a competent, dignified and disciplined manner throughout his three-year term as National Teams Head Coach.

“On behalf of the FAS, I want to place on record our sincere appreciation to Bernd who has worked hard to raise the standards of Singapore football in all aspects. We wish him every success in the future.”

Coach Bernd said: “When I was appointed the National Coach about three years ago, I set for myself a number of targets. We fell short of some goals and this is a regret for me and my players. However, we have made good progress in several areas. For instance, we qualified for the final round of the Asian Cup Qualifiers where we stand a strong chance of doing well. This is a good National Team which is capable of reaching the 2019 Asian Cup and it will be the first time this country qualifies for the top international competition in Asia.”

“It was not an easy decision. The people here are friendly and this is a beautiful country which has the potential to achieve more footballing success.

“To identify and develop a new generation of players who are now key members of the national team gives me great satisfaction, and there is great potential for us to establish a very strong national team in the coming years – especially with many shining talents such as Adam Swandi, Amirul Adli, Irfan Fandi and Iqbal Hussain completing their National Service within the next few years.

“FAS has achieved good success in various areas despite not receiving the full amount of required resources. There is potential for more success but FAS needs the support of all stakeholders – a point I had stressed when I was appointed three years ago. Everyone must come together and provide the best possible environment for our players to train and develop. Only then will our shining talents sparkle on the international stage. I have submitted to FAS a detailed analytical report and recommendations aimed at raising the standards of Singapore football.

“While there are several limitations and challenges which are beyond the control of FAS, the support and commitment of the management over the past three years have been amazing. I want to thank the ExCo and the management for their confidence and trust in me all this while. My colleagues at the Association have also been helpful and I am especially grateful to the National Teams, Sports Science & Medicine, Corporate Affairs, and Marketing & Communications departments for their dedication, passion and strong support towards me and my coaches and players during the past three years. For me, it is a great joy working with these talented and passionate colleagues to raise the profile of our National Team.”

Coach Bernd added: “I would also like to thank the MCCY, Sport Singapore, ExCo and Council, my coaching colleagues, players, clubs, sponsors and media for their support and friendship during the past few years.

“Lastly – a special thank you to the fans who have always been supportive towards our National Team. Fans are the VIPs of football and all of us, including our partners, must work together and provide the best football entertainment possible for them. I hope our fans will give our team the full support at the year-end Suzuki Cup and the final round of the Asian Cup qualifiers next year.”

“Thank you, Singapore, for the support. I will cherish the memories and I sincerely wish Singapore football all the best,” Coach Bernd concluded.

Thanking Coach Bernd for his guidance and relentless efforts in raising the standards of local football, National Team Captain Shahril Ishak said: “Since his appointment, Coach Bernd has been encouraging us to play the international style of football, which includes possession-based, fast counter-attacks, and building up play from the goalkeeper. However, it’s not just about the style of play or his coaching duties which we are thankful for. He had, among other roles, been working hard behind the scenes to improve the facilities including Geylang Field so that we have a good environment to train and develop further.

“Coach Bernd always defends his players and also seeks to take the pressure away from us – even if it leads to him being criticised unfairly. For example, our team was unlucky to concede late penalties against Thailand and Malaysia in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup but Coach Bernd did not blame any player or anyone after we were knocked out of the competition. We have full respect towards Coach Bernd, so it is with fondness that we say farewell. On behalf of the National Team, I would like to wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

FAS will make a further announcement on the new national coach in due course.