SINGAPORE: Singapore Premier League side Lion City Sailors have appointed AFC Champions League winner Kim Do-hoon as their new head coach, the club announced on Tuesday (May 18).
The 50-year-old Kim led South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai to victory in the Asian Football Confederation’s AFC Champions League last year. He joins the local side on a two-and-a-half year deal, said the club, and is expected to officially link up with the team in June.
Kim replaces Australian Aurelio Vidmar, who left the club last month after less than a year at the helm.
“I am delighted to be joining the Lion City Sailors. It’s hugely exciting to be part of such an ambitious project – the club has aspirations of becoming one of the top teams in the region, and I’m confident of delivering that success to the Sailors,” said Kim, who is a former South Korean international.
“Before anything, however, I would like to thank Aurelio for the solid groundwork that he has put in place. The Sailors boast a very talented squad, and the team has been playing exciting attacking football over the past year or so. I intend to build on that, and bring this team to the next level.”
Kim left top division side Ulsan last December after four years in charge of the club. Under his charge, the club won their first-ever Korean FA Cup in 2017, finishing second in the league in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
“We conducted an exhaustive search for the right candidate to take the club forward. There were several top-class candidates, but Do-hoon stood out as the ideal person to take over as head coach because of his professionalism, consistency, and propensity to play an eye-catching style of football," said Sailors chief executive Chew Chun-Liang.
“Do-hoon also has a good record of helping players fulfil their potential. This was something that we considered strongly, given the number of young talents that we have at the club."
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The Sailors, formerly known as Home United, were taken over in February 2020 by local tech firm Sea. They finished third in their first season in the Singapore Premier League (SPL).
Earlier this season, they made headlines following their signing of midfielder Diego Lopes for an estimated €1.8 million (USS$2.2 million) from Portugese side Rio Ave. The Brazilian is the first multi-million dollar signing in the history of the league.
Earlier this month, the club also announced the signing of national captain Hariss Harun from Johor Darul Ta'zim.
The Sailors currently sit second in the SPL, once point behind defending champions Albirex Niigata. The last local side to win the domestic league was Warriors FC in 2014.