Former Notts County and Coventry City goalkeeper Radojko ‘Raddy” Avramovic has been the boss of Singapore’s national team since 2003. The Serbian has led the nation to success in Tiger Cups and is now getting ready to lead them to the 2010 World Cup. The third round of qualification starts next month with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Lebanon standing between Singapore and a place in the fourth and final stage.
You played for Nottingham County from 1979-82. At the time, Nottingham Forest were the champions of Europe. How was it being in the city at the time?
I was one of the first foreigners to play in Dominoqq England. It was a good time to be there. The people were fanatic about football and Notts County reached what is now called the Premier League. At the time, Nottingham Forest were a great team with Brian Clough as the manager and a team full of internationals. It was great to be there.
The football scene in Nottingham is not so healthy these days…
Many things have changed. If you don’t adapt and change with them then you have problems and that is what you have with Nottingham Forest. Maybe they were sleeping on their past success and didn’t change. Now it’s hard to get back what they had before.
Do you ever go back to watch Notts County?
Nearly every year I go to Nottingham. I have many friends there and I am very happy that people haven’t forgotten me. They also chose me as a legend of Notts County and I am very proud of that.
Not many goalkeepers become coaches. Do you think there is a reason for that?
I don’t know. To become a coach is very hard work and you have to make many sacrifices and not many people are prepared to do that.
Moving forward… You have just signed an extension to your contract. You have been with Singapore since 2003. You must have seen many changes.
I first came to Asia in 1991 …