Singapore Premier League • June 18, 2014

Salim To Recreate Magic At Woodlands


Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Arguably one of the most popular coaches Woodlands Wellington has ever seen, Salim Moin is set to make a return to the Northern-based club to replace Darren Stewart, who parted ways with the club a week ago, immediately after their 7-1 loss to Albirex Niigata (S).

The thumping by the Japanese side was the latest result in a poor run endured by Woodlands, who even got knocked out of the preliminary round of the Singapore Cup following a hefty 5-1 defeat to Geylang International.

Salim joins the Rams after a less-than-successful half-year stint with reigning champions Tampines Rovers, where the Stags failed to progress to the second round of the AFC Cup by a whisker.

In 2013, the 53-year-old saw himself making headlines after a splendid season with Woodlands, when he raised them to fifth place from being wooden spoonists the previous season.

The former international sat down with an interview with and expressed his appreciation to his new and former employees.

“Firstly I want to say thank you very much to my former boss, Mr Teo Hock Seng for giving me the permission to come back to my old club,” he said.

“I feel very honoured to be back at Woodlands and I also wish to thank the management for appointing me.”

Salim also admitted that his time at Tampines unfortunately was not the best part of his career.

“I tried to show my ability but failed, especially when it came to AFC. I take full responsibility of that and thus decided that it was time for me to leave to take some rest,” he explained.

“I did not expect myself to come back to the league so fast because I wanted to have a good rest. I did have a good rest but coaching is my first love, which is why I am happy to be approached by Woodlands.”

Despite his past track record with Woodlands, Salim stresses that he does not have a ‘magic wand’ to raise the team immediately.

“There are a lot of things to be done because the position of the team is not very healthy and I have told the management that I am not a superhero,” the ex-Balestier Khalsa coach shared.

“We have to start afresh as a unit and I need to get to know the players first, apart from those that I already know who already understand my style.

“However, it will take time for all the players to get used to the adaptation.”

However, Salim was prepared to revamp the side and make changes where necessary to suit his tactical acumens.

“There will be changes in the playing style. We are going to be more attacking oriented like last year,” he promised.

“Maybe I will play three at the back with flank players and two strikers; it all depends on the players’ individual abilities.”

“We have to start scoring goals and climb up the table.

However, the former Tampines coach asserted that there will be no incoming transfers, with the exception of coaching staffs.

“I believe in miracles. It is already the second half of the tournament so if we stay consistent and hardworking, I can bring the team back to the top half of the table,” he added.

Salim’s first test would be on this Friday, where Woodlands welcome high-flying Warriors FC at the Woodlands Stadium.