SINGAPORE - Former Hougang United head coach Philippe Aw was named head coach of the national Under-15 football team, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Thursday (Nov 17).
The announcement comes five days after The Straits Times reported that the national football body is shutting down its elite FAS Football Academy (FFA) programme - which began in 2000 and was then called the National Football Academy - with players to continue their development at the various Singapore Premier League clubs.
Aw will lead his team at the Asean Football Federation (AFF) U-15 Championship in Thailand from July 27 to Aug 9, where the Cubs will face Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Timor-Leste and Philippines in Group A.
The 41-year-old will also guide the team in qualification matches for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championships later this year.
"I'm happy to be able to play a key role in developing the next generation of players by working closely with the clubs and schools," said Aw.
"One of my tasks will be to scout for promising players for the U-15 national team from the schools, clubs and academies as we implement a revolving door policy for the age-group national teams with the discontinuation of the FFA.
"It's a job with big responsibilities and I will guide the players well so they can progress to the top. I look to instil discipline, commitment and hard work in the boys which are values they will carry throughout their lives."
Former national striker Fadzuhasny Juraimi, meanwhile, will lead the national U-18 team, who also have AFF and AFC tournaments this year.
The AFF U-18 Championship will take place in Vietnam from Aug 5 to 18, where Singapore are grouped with Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Australia. There are also qualifiers for the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship later in the year .
"This year will be an important one for the players to see how they have progressed so far," said the 39-year-old Fadzuhasny, who coached the FFA U-17 squad last year.
"The two competitions will be tough but I'm sure the boys will be looking forward to it.
"The upcoming months will be crucial in terms of preparation, and clubs and schools play an even more important role now given the decentralisation of youth development."