National Team - Lions ● May 30, 2019
Tatsuma Yoshida takes charge of Lions
SINGAPORE, 30 MAY 2019 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) today unveiled Tatsuma Yoshida as the new man to take the Lions forward.
The 44-year-old has been appointed on a two-year contract with a two-year extension option and will take charge of the team for the June friendlies against the Solomon Islands and Myanmar.
Tatsuma, who was introduced to the media and stakeholders at Jalan Besar Stadium earlier this morning, becomes the first ever Japanese coach to helm the Singapore national team.
“I am very happy to be sitting here,” he said. “I think this opportunity is a very good challenge and a big chance for me and I believe in my ability. While I am aware that this is no easy task, I believe in the potential that Singapore football has to reach greater heights and success on the international stage and look forward to embarking on this journey with the players and fans.”
He will work closely with assistant coach Nazri Nasir, Under-22 head coach Fandi Ahmad and technical director Joseph Palatsides, which FAS President Mr Lim Kia Tong is looking forward to.
He said: “Each of them armed with the talent that is unique to them but sharing the common philosophy, will be working closely to build the National Team from the youth level as well as to ensure that there is a proper structure in place that encompasses players’ development and a congruent style of play that will build Singapore’s competitiveness in international tournaments in the long-run.”
A midfielder during his playing days, Tatsuma was a stalwart at J.League outfit Montedio Yamagata and also turned out for Jurong FC in the 2002 S.League (now Singapore Premier League) season.
He returned to Japanese giants Kashiwa Reysol – his hometown club – the following year as academy director and helped to bring through the likes of Hiroki Sakai, the Japan star who is now at French side Marseille, and current Reysol goalkeeper Kosuke Nakamura, who has been capped at senior level. The Chiba native became Reysol’s sports director in 2011 and succeeded Nelson Baptista as head coach in 2015, before going on to coach fellow J.League sides Albirex Niigata and Ventforet Kofu.
Well-regarded in Japan as a forward-thinking coach, Tatsuma was highly recommended by the Japanese Football Association and FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari was delighted to welcome him.
“We undertook a rigorous recruitment process and spoke to some excellent candidates regionally and globally,” he said. “It was important that we found the best person with the attributes and experiences needed to fit into our system and achieve our objectives.”
“Much hard work remains ahead, and we will ensure Tatsuma gets all the support he needs. At the same time, we also look forward to the continued support of our stakeholders, including the fans, media and sponsors, which is critical to our success.”
Fandi added: “Nazri and I met with Tatsuma and I found him to be very sincere with his desire to work alongside the Under-22 team to build up and develop players for the senior team. This is also my vision and I look forward to working closely together with Tatsuma to achieve this.”
Tatsuma’s first Singapore game comes on 8 June against the Solomon Islands at the National Stadium before facing Myanmar three days later at the same venue. An 18-man squad has been announced for the two matches.