Football: Ex-Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic in line to be wounded Malaysia's next handler?

Myanmar football coach Radojko Avramovic.
Myanmar football coach Radojko Avramovic. ST PHOTO: FILE

He was lauded for his tactical prowess that brought nearly a decade of regional success to the Singapore national football team.

But former coach Raddy Avramovic could be in contention to become the next coach of the Lions' arch-rivals, Malaysia.

The Straits Times understands that the 65-year-old Serb, who is currently coaching the Myanmar national team, has emerged as a surprise candidate to take over the reins of the beleaguered Tigers.

Other names being strongly linked to the job include former Johor Darul Takzim manager Bojan Hodak and former Aston Villa midfielder George Boateng, who is currently the technical director at the Kelantan Football Association.

Former Malaysia coach Dollah Salleh had resigned two weeks ago, after the team fell to their worst-ever loss - a 10-0 drubbing by the United Arab Emirates in a World Cup qualifying match on Sept 3.

Ong Kim Swee, the national Under-23 coach, has been appointed to lead the national team until December.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has placed advertisements for candidates as it searches for a long-term replacement.

But it has not divulged if it will stick with a local coach or go foreign this time.

According to Malaysian daily The Star, FAM deputy president Mokhtar Ahmad headed the FAM special task force's first meeting on Monday, and said after the meeting: "A lot of people want us to hire a foreign coach, but we're open and transparent.

"We'll appoint the candidates who meet our criteria."

The past five coaches of the national side have all been locals - Dollah, Ong, B. Sathianathan, K. Rajagopal and Norizan Bakar.

The last time Malaysia appointed a foreign coach was in 2005, but the late Hungarian Bertalan Bicskei left after around a year.

Avramovic was appointed coach of Singapore in July 2003, and led the Republic to three Asean football championships (2004, 2007 and 2012) before stepping down in February 2013.

In February last year, he was appointed Myanmar's national coach on a 11/2-year contract.

Results, however, have been far from impressive. In 20 outings, Avramovic has compiled six wins, four draws and 10 losses.

His record has led to fans calling for his head.

In Myanmar's last competitive outing in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the White Angels were also at the wrong end of a thrashing - 9-0 by Kuwait.

Avramovic, whose son and grandsons live in Singapore, could not be reached for comment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2015, with the headline 'Raddy in line to be wounded Tigers' next handler?'. Print Edition | Subscribe