FAS technical director Sablon set to extend contract
Belgian football guru says he wants to 'realise' his blueprint for Singapore football
His two-year deal is due to expire at the end of this month.
The New Paper has learnt that Football Association of Singapore (FAS) technical director Michel Sablon has agreed terms to continue in his role.
But the 69-year-old Belgian has yet to put pen to paper, with the FAS provisional council set to meet first before offering him a new contract.
In response to TNP's queries, an FAS spokesman revealed that the football body is close to wrapping up a new deal with Sablon.
"The provisional council will be meeting soon to finalise the details of technical director Michel Sablon's contract extension," said the spokesman.
"An announcement will be made in due course."
Sablon is famed for coming up with Belgium's football blueprint which produced their current "golden generation" of footballers such as Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne.
The affable Belgian, who told TNP in an interview in January that he was keen to stay and "realise this project", was in equally hopeful mood yesterday when asked about his contract situation.
"Yes, our situation looks very positive," he told TNP.
It is understood that one reason for the FAS' delay in announcing Sablon's future is the upcoming democratic election, which will take place before the end of next month.
Sablon is highly sought after in the football world, and would certainly have no lack of suitors if he decides to leave his FAS post.
However, he reiterated that he is committed to seeing through the youth development plan which he unveiled last May.
"I came here to realise something," said Sablon.
"If I leave now, it would be a waste of the time and money which we have put in over the last two years.
"Our job is absolutely not done yet.
"And the group of passionate people who are working on our project... it is also very important for them that we continue."
With his stellar CV, his unveiling as FAS' technical director in April 2015 was hailed as a coup.
He soon roped in key personnel to help him execute his plans at the youth level, such as former Rwanda Under-17 World Cup coach Richard Tardy and Guy Martens, the man who moulded current Chelsea and Belgium No. 1 Thibaut Courtois.
Last May, Sablon unveiled an 11-point blueprint which he is convinced can help Singapore compete with Asia's best in five years.
The plan includes an overall development philosophy, coaching education, a revamp of schools and Centre of Excellence competitions, and specialised goalkeeper development, among others.