SINGAPORE: Fandi Ahmad is stepping down from his role as Singapore's head of elite youth, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Thursday (Jun 30).
“Having turned 60 recently, I feel it is an opportune time for me to spend more time with my family and explore other challenges," said Fandi Ahmad in a press release.
The decision was mutually agreed between Fandi and the FAS, the press release said. He is leaving his role on Thursday which is when he completes his contract.
"I am grateful that FAS has respected my decision. I will be leaving the organisation with a heavy heart as I have made countless good memories and forged friendships with many colleagues here.”
Fandi’s time with the FAS began in 2014 when he was appointed Head Coach of the now-defunct LionsXII. He guided the team to lift the Malaysia FA Cup the following season.
After the LionsXII disbanded, Fandi remained with the FAS as a staff coach until he was appointed as the Head Coach (Youth) in 2016.
He then took charge of the Young Lions at the start of 2018 and was subsequently appointed as the Interim Men’s National Team Head Coach in May, leading the senior side at the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2018 tournament.
FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari said: "On behalf of the FAS, we would like to place on record our utmost thanks to Fandi for his various contributions and service to the organisation over the past seven years.
"I have had the privilege of working with him and have seen first-hand how he inspired and uplifted both his colleagues and players under his tutelage.
"We are all grateful for his hard work and I am pretty confident Fandi will continue to be involved with our football in some way after his much-deserved break."
During his tenure, Fandi has been instrumental in developing and identifying youth talent by giving opportunities to players such as Jacob Mahler, Naqiuddin Eunos, Nur Adam Abdullah, Saifullah Akbar and Zulqarnaen Suzliman, the press release said.
Those players were also part of the Under-22 squad that Fandi guided to their best-ever showing in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship qualifiers, where the team finished in second place in their group with five points.
The squad then went on to claim the Merlion Cup after beating Thailand by a single goal, scored by Ikhsan Fandi.
Fandi led the Under-22s at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Manila as part of his final coaching assignment. From the start of 2020, Fandi served as the Head of Elite (Youth) as part of a contract extension.