SINGAPORE (16 Sept 2012) – On the night Vietnam held Indonesia to a scoreless draw in Surabaya, the FA of Singapore (FAS) have come out in defence of national chief coach Radojko Avramovic.
According to officials FAS statement, vice-president Lim Kia Tong and general secretary Winston Lee had, over the past few days, reviewed the information, including the transcript of the media interview, submitted by officials following the team’s 1-1 draw against Myanmar.
“We have ascertained the actual context in which the published comments were made, and we are of the view that Raddy did not criticise the S.League. During the interview, Raddy had pointed out on at least three occasions that his main concern comes from injuries to his players,” said Kia Tong, who is also the chairman of the FAS Excellence Committee.
“One of Raddy’s key points made during the interview is that continuity is particularly important in youth development. Continuity in the context that our youth players must stay in the game and continually progress from the youth and club levels to the international stage, as well as to be exposed continuously to international matches – both at the club and national levels. Only then will we see an increase in the number of exceptional young players, like Hariss Harun, who have the potential and ability to play in Europe.
“Raddy did not mean that no good players are coming from the ranks of our youth development structure. As the national coach, he has said that all players for the national team must be at least good or very good, otherwise they would not be in the national team. During the interview, he was however talking about ‘exceptional young’ players from the S.League going into the national team. While Raddy described Hariss as the only ‘exceptional young’ player he has selected for the national team so far from the S.League, it should be noted that he often singled out good young players in the S.League with the potential to succeed but yet to achieve the tag of ‘exceptional young’ player.
“We are happy to note that coach Raddy had made clear during the pre-match press conference in Yangon that the target for us in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 competition is to reach the final. FAS remains committed to our target for the AFF Suzuki Cup and we look forward to the continued support of our fans and the media. We will continue to support coach Raddy and the national team to the best of our abilities as they prepare for the tournament which kicks off in two months’ time.”
In the meantime, Vietnam walked away with a morale boosting 0-0 draw against Indonesia in a friendly that was played in Surabaya last night.
The Vietnamese who are chasing their second crown in the AFF Suzuki Cup this year had dumped defending champions Malaysia 2-0 in Kuala Lumpur just a few days earlier.