SINGAPORE, 5 December 2011: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) held a press conference at the Jalan Besar Stadium, VIP Lounge on 5 December 2011 to announce the long awaited head coach and squad list of the Singapore team playing in the Malaysian domestic tournaments starting from 2012 to 2015.
Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July this year, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and FAS both agreed to send a team to compete in the Great Eastern YEO’S S-League and the Malaysian Super League and all cup competitions.
The team will be named the LIONSXII and have a specially designed logo by acclaimed advertising agency, DDB.
In front of a room packed with journalists, former national team striker, ‘The Dazzler’ V.Sundramoorthy was unveiled as the head coach of the team.
With a strict criteria in the selection of the coach, Sundram was chosen for his experience as a player in the Malaysian competitions coupled with his ability to coach and lead a team as shown in his time as head coach of Jurong FC and the Young Lions.
Armed with a Pro Diploma in coaching, Sundram is widely acclaimed as one of the best players of his generation and is now back in football, giving back to the game as a man on the sidelines.
Sundram was one of two Singapore players, along with Fandi Ahmad to have ever played in Europe when he had a stint back in 1987 to 1988 with Switzerland club, FC Basel.
Besides playing for Singapore in the Malaysian competitions, he also crossed the border and donned the colours of Kedah, Pahang and Kelantan.
Towards the end of his career he came back to his roots to turn out for Jurong FC in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League from 1996 to 1999.
His Malaysian Cup days room-mate, Kadir Yahya was selected by Sundramoorthy to be his assistant coach and the two former team-mates on the pitch will now seek to work their magic from the sidelines.
Also unveiled at the press conference was the 28-man squad list which included Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri, Agu Casmir and Hariss Harun.
Comprising of a blend of youngsters and experienced national players, the team will be competing in the three Malaysian domestic competitions, namely the Malaysian Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.
Speaking at the press conference, the charismatic coach said: “It is a great honour to be given this huge task of leading LIONSXII in the Malaysian domestic tournaments and having experienced the excitement and euphoria of the Malaysia Cup as a player, I will give it my all and pass down the wealth of knowledge I have to these 28 players whom I believe will be a competitive squad in the coming season.”
FAS President, Zainudin Nordin was pleased with the appointment when he added: “This is a historical day in Singapore football and I am confident that coach V.Sundramoorthy and the players will be able to rise up to the challenge. It is important to stress that this team is a team for all Singaporeans, as shown in our choice of team name and logo. We want Singaporeans to come down and stand by the Lions as they strive for glory on the pitch.”
FAS General Secretary, Mr Winston Lee was also present at the press conference and gave a deeper understanding of how the team name and logo were formulated.
He said: “Since we announced our participation in the Malaysian competitions, the buzz and excitement amongst fans has been positive and we always felt that the fans are a part of the team. With this team name and logo, we want the fans to have a sense of ownership and take pride in their team. We look forward to seeing fans come to the matches and help us create that magical ‘cauldron’ atmosphere which has always been there during the Malaysia Cup days.”