|By Khalis Rifhan
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) have announced the appointment of Aide Iskandar as the new head coach of the Courts Young Lions for the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League season.
Although the new Young Lions squad has not been announced, the former national skipper will not be a stranger to the majority of the players.
“I had the invaluable opportunity to work with many of the Courts Young Lions players at the recent NexLions Cup and I am confident that I can play a role in enhancing their development which will in turn boost the national team in the next few years.” said the former Home United player.
“I look forward to the challenge of preparing our Under-21 players to compete against professional teams and players in the 2013 S.League season and also towards playing a key role in boosting youth development in Singapore.”
FAS President Zainudin Nordin revealed that all applicants went through rigorous tests before the team decided on their preferred choice for the post.
“While they are all highly qualified individuals who possess established competence, relevant qualifications and experience at the top level, the panel reached a unanimous decision that Aide Iskandar will best fulfill our long-term objectives.” said Zainudin
“Aide had an illustrious playing career during which he clinched honours at both international and club levels. As a coach, Aide has demonstrated leadership and maturity and we believe he will have a positive influence on the Courts Young Lions players, many of whom have the potential to be called up to the national team within the next few years.”
Both Zainudin and Aide share the same sentiment with regards to the Young Lions being one of the core foundations in our footballing agendas.
“The Courts Young Lions forms a key component of our comprehensive youth development structure which has been singled out for praise by leading football officials," stressed Zainudin.
"Going forward, FAS will continue to provide the best level of support to the team, whenever possible, and we will work closely with Aide as we strive towards achieving our footballing objectives including youth development.
Aide added: “The Courts Young Lions’ participation in the S.League since 2003 has significantly enhanced youth development in Singapore and I am deeply honoured to be appointed to one of the key coaching positions in Singapore football today.”
“The likes of national captain Shahril Ishak and Irwan Shah and, more recently, Hariss Harun, Izwan Mahmud and Hafiz Abu Sujad are among the many who were developed through the Young Lions structure during the past decade.”
After hanging up his boots, Aide was appointed as Hougang United coach from 2009-2011 and was also the Singapore national team assistant coach at the recent AFF Suzuki Cup.