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Singapore Premier League club Lion City Sailors have appointed former Red Star Belgrade and Real Betis defender Liszt Vidakovic as their new head coach for the upcoming 2023 football season. Midway through last season on an interim basis.

Vidakovic, 53, holds a UEFA professional coaching license and has coached the region for clubs in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, winning three memorable Philippine Football League titles in a row. He is a familiar face in the soccer world of Southeast Asia. From 2017 he is with Ceres-Negros until 2019.

Vidakovic led Seles to the 2017 ASEAN Zone Champions in the 2017 AFC Cup with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Singapore’s home United. They faced Tajikistan club He Istikor in the interzone semi-final, but could not match the prowess of the Central Asian side as the Filipino club lost 5–1 on aggregate.

Seles participated in the Singapore Cup that same year. They drew with Hougang United in the qualifying round but unfortunately lost 1-0 at Hougang Stadium.

“Liszt has won back-to-back wins in the region and has proven that European know-how can be incorporated into Southeast Asian football culture, even in a variety of challenging situations. I’m sure he’s the right person,” Sailors president Forrest Lee said in a media statement on Tuesday regarding the appointment of his club’s new head coach.

“His philosophy on football is in line with what we envision. Perhaps more importantly, he is a dedicated football thinker and a father figure to players, especially young players. and we’re excited to have him lead the team.”

Photo: Facebook screenshot/maziyasports

The former Yugoslavia international left Malaysian Super League club Malacca United by mutual consent in April 2022 after less than four months at the club, but went unbeaten in the 2020-2021 campaign. We ended up having a more memorable time at Majiya and the Maldives.

Vidakovic, the 2021 Singapore Premier League winner, is set to attend pre-season training in January, adding: “For me, this is a big and exciting challenge to join to create something special at the club. I think.

“I like to play attacking football and it is clear that we have played that way in every club I have worked for. It’s important, I have my own philosophy, but it’s also important that the players are happy and happy with their position on the pitch and their role in the team, so I have to adapt too.” As a member of the Serbian national team, he helped develop players such as Nemanja Vidić and Nikola Žigić.

Vidakovic believes the Sailors’ roster, which includes former PSV Eindhoven winger Maxime Restienne, Brazilian playmaker Diego Lopez, Singapore captain Harris Harun and more, offers exciting opportunities.

“Any club needs a good mix of young and experienced players. We are happy to have top foreign players here who have played in the top European leagues. important in helping guide them to reach the next level in their game.”

The Sailors finished their recent league campaign in second place with 57 points, two behind champions Albirex Niigata (S). They struggled in the Singapore Cup, being drawn 3–3 and 1–1 respectively by Balestier Khalsa and Young Lions before losing 2–1 to Albirex in their final match of Group A.

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