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Singapore coaches Noh Alam Shah and Isa Halim begin coaching stints with J1 Club Tokyo Verdy

Former Lions stalwarts turned coaches Noh Alam Shah and Isa Halim have been awarded a coaching attachment stint with top-tier J-League club Tokyo Verdy until the end of the year.

Isa Halim (Left) and Noh Alam Shah (Right) are the inaugural batch of coaches under the Coaches Overseas Attachment programme, a new initiative as part of the Unleash The Roar! (UTR) national football project. Photo by Tokyo Verdy.

The former Singapore internationals, who were part of Singapore’s 2007 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) championship winning team, were selected by a technical committee to be the first batch of coaches to benefit from the newly-launched Coaches Overseas Attachment programme. The pilot programme is an initiative by the Unleash The Roar! national football project to provide up and coming Singapore coaches the opportunity to gain experience and further develop their capabilities through an attachment with reputable overseas football clubs. 

The Japan stint will see Alam Shah and Isa join Tokyo Verdy head coach Hiroshi Jofuku’s backroom staff and help with the planning and execution of training sessions for the first team. They may also be called upon to assist the club’s other teams.


Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, & Ministry of Social and Family Development and Chairman of the UTR! Executive Committee, was recently in Tokyo to commemorate the collaboration between Tokyo Verdy and UTR!.

Mr Takaaki Nakamura (left), president of Tokyo Verdy and Mr Eric Chua (right), Senior Parliamentary Secretary (SPS) for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, & Ministry of Social and Family Development and Chairman of the UTR! Executive Committee, exchanged jerseys as part of the collaboration. Photo by Tokyo Verdy.

Said Mr Chua: “Under our national football movement, Unleash the Roar!, we have implemented several initiatives to develop a pipeline of local football talents and increase youth participation in football. Coaches play a critical role in developing young talents and guiding seasoned football players. Thus, it is equally important that we forge pathways for our coaches to gain experiences and insights, to elevate the standard of football coaching and shape the future of Singapore football. We extend our appreciation to Tokyo Verdy for their hospitality and support in nurturing our coaches and in making this partnership a success.”

Tokyo Verdy welcomes partnership

Said Mr Takaaki Nakamura, president of Tokyo Verdy: “We are extremely honoured to be a partner in supporting this national project led by the Singaporean Government. Our Sports Director Mr. Atsuhiko Ejiri and Head Coach Mr. Hiroshi Jofuku have also welcomed the training of the coaches for the top team. Our club is ready to support this project.

“As Tokyo Verdy aims to become one of Asia's leading multi-sport clubs, the experience of working with coaches who speak different languages ​​and have different cultures will be extremely valuable for our coaches. And above all, we hope that our coaching methods, which place emphasis on player development, will be a learning experience for the Support Coaches, and that we will be able to contribute to the further development of Singapore's football scene.”

Invaluable experience for Singapore coaches

Both Alam Shah and Isa hit the ground running on 24 May and have been grateful for the access they have been given to the first-team training.

Alam Shah (right) speaking to Soma Meshino (left) from Tokyo Verdy football club. Photo by Tokyo Verdy.

Said Alam Shah, who won 84 caps with the Lions and was the Most Valuable Player in the 2007 AFF championship victory: “It’s been an eye-opening experience. What has been interesting to note is that it’s not just the players who bring intensity to the games and training sessions.

“Coach Hiroshi also demands that his coaches bring intensity to the sessions so that everyone gets the best out of the 90 mins practice session on the field.”

Isa Halim (centre) assisting the Tokyo Verdy team with the pitch training. Photo by Tokyo Verdy.

Added Isa, who captained Singapore in a career that earned him 63 caps: “Alam Shah and I are grateful for this opportunity to learn and immerse ourselves in a top Japanese professional club. But while we aim to learn from the best so that we can bring back what we have seen to Singapore, we also hope we can contribute what we have learnt in our careers during our stint in Japan.”

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