Stange gets second short-term extension till April

He was pilloried for a dreadful AFF Suzuki Cup campaign last year, in which the Singapore national football team failed to advance from the group stage on home ground.

But after the Lions opened their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign this year with decent results against Japan and Syria, national coach Bernd Stange has been given a contract extension by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) until April next year.

The Straits Times reported earlier this month, after the Lions lost 0-1 to Syria in Oman, that the German will be handed the contract extension to see out the qualifying campaign, which ends next March.

This is his second short-term extension. The first one had given him an additional three months after his original contract ended in June, as he oversaw the national Under-23 side's unsuccessful SEA Games campaign.

Having endured a winless six months at the start of this year, Stange saw his fortunes pick up during World Cup qualifying as he enlisted the help of local coaches Fandi Ahmad and V. Sundramoorthy.

JOINT EFFORT

I will also continue to work closely with, and guide, my coaching colleagues Fandi Ahmad and V. Sundramoorthy - who have shown team work, respect, humility and a desire to keep learning and raising their standards.''

BERND STANGE, Singapore national football coach

The 67-year-old said: "It has been a positive qualifying campaign for us and our performances in the first three matches - all of which were played away, have given us confidence that we could qualify for the Asian Cup.

"I will also continue to work closely with, and guide, my coaching colleagues Fandi Ahmad and V. Sundramoorthy - who have shown team work, respect, humility and a desire to keep learning and raising their standards."

Apart from his coaching responsibilities, Stange will also be involved in discussions for a new strategic plan to improve the standards of football in Singapore.

The new extension comes even as his trusted aide Harald Irmscher left after his contract expired in July. Goalkeeping coach instructor John Burridge resigned in June.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2015, with the headline 'Stange gets second short-term extension till April'. Print Edition | Subscribe