‘Significant improvement is possible’: New FAS technical director stresses need for collaborative approach

‘Significant improvement is possible’: New FAS technical director stresses need for collaborative approach

SINGAPORE: New Football Association of Singapore (FAS) technical director Michael Browne has stressed that he will adopt a collaborative approach during his tenure to improve local football.

Browne was announced as FAS’ new technical director in a news release on Friday (July 1). He is currently finalising his travel arrangements to come to Singapore and will officially assume the role this month, said FAS.

The Englishman is a UEFA Pro Licence holder and a former academy director of current English third-tier side Charlton Athletic. He also spent 10 years in Qatar, working as head coach of the country’s Aspire Academy, and was involved in a number of different roles there, including being head of national team scouting.

In an interview with CNA over Zoom, Browne said one of his key priorities would be to work closely with local coaches.

“For me, the most important thing is to meet as many coaches and people involved in football as possible, as quickly as possible. If you’re a foreign coach going into any country, I think it’s a mistake to go in with preconceived ideas about what you’re going to change and what you’re going to implement,” he explained.

“Because every country is unique. Every country has strengths and weaknesses in terms of how they develop players and how they operate. And for me, the most important thing is to try and identify strengths, look at the weaknesses and see how we can rectify the weaknesses, but also build on the strengths.”

And rather than coming in and telling people what to do, the Englishman said that he sees his role as one that facilitates improvement. 

“There’s certain areas that we need to definitely try and make progress in, in terms of participation rates at grassroots, how are the potentially elite young players taken care of, what’s the provision for them in terms of training, games, programmes, et cetera,” he said.

“So all these areas are areas that I’m keen to pursue, but … I need to sort of evaluate first and just get a better understanding. Obviously, I have ideas as to what I think might need rectifying, but until you get there, then I think it’s better just to reserve judgment.”

Browne was also Indian I-League club Punjab FC’s technical director from March 2019 to July 2020. Before that, he was Northern New South Wales Football Australia’s state technical director.

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