• Thu. Oct 5th, 2023

Lion City Sailors have a new head coach. How long will he last?

Jun 28, 2023 ,

After the sudden departure of Risto Vidakovic after only six months in charge, the Lion City Sailors have now announced a new head honcho.


On 28 June, the club shared on its website that Serbian Aleksandar Ranković will take over the reins as Head Coach as the club looks to “strengthen its challenge for the Singapore Premier League (SPL) title and plot an improved second foray into Asia’s top-tier club competition: the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL).”

The 44-year-old joins the Sailors on a two-year contract from Eredivisie side FC Utrecht, where he was an assistant coach.

Ranković started his coaching career in the youth squads of ADO Den Haag, before moving to coach various Eredivisie first teams including Vitesse Arnhem, Sparta Rotterdam and ADO Den Haag, where the Serb was head coach. 

“What the Sailors are trying to build in Singapore is very exciting, and I’m delighted to be a part of this ambitious project I believe will be something quite special,” said Ranković.

“I know that I can bring a little spark to the first team, but I’m not going to make wild claims that everything will be much better the moment I take charge – that would be disrespectful to my predecessors at the club. 

“I also know that it will take time for things to change, but I am confident that step by step, we will be a better team.” 

Sailors technical director Luka Lalić added that his new colleague’s experience with teams that have competed in UEFA competitions will be invaluable to the Sailors, as they prepare for the ACL.

“I think his pragmatic and straightforward manner will help us efficiently get to where we want to be,” Lalic said.

Ranković, who was a defensive midfielder in a playing career that saw him pull on the shirts of Vitesse, ADO Den Haag and Partizan Belgrade, brings with him a football philosophy that is set to excite the Sailors’ faithful. 

“I’m a native Serbian, but as a coach, I’m Dutch,” said Ranković paying tribute to the influence of the country in which he has spent his entire coaching career. 

“I like my team to dominate possession and play attacking football. 

“I’m confident that we can do this well with the players that we have in the squad,” added the father of three, pointing to the quality that the Sailors foreign contingent – including the likes of former PSV Eindhoven winger Maxime Lestienne and Brazilian playmaker Diego Lopes who joined from Portuguese top tier side, Rio Ave in 2020 – bring to the team.

The Sailors will face off against Tanjong Pagar United next on 1 July.


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