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Exclusive: Former Premier League manager applies for Singapore head coach role

The last time former Southampton, Wolves and Cardiff manager Dave Jones visited Singapore, he was limited to a stopover in Changi Airport. This time, however, he tells FourFourTwo that he hopes to stick around - as head coach of the national side.

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"I know your league has just changed and now you've gone on to what you call a (Singapore) Premier League," Dave Jones tells FourFourTwo over a Skype call from the UK. "I know a fair amount of what's happening ... and I know you're in a development stage, which I like because that's what I do. I build.

Former LMA Manager of the Year with Southampton in 1998, the 61-year-old knows what's required to take unfancied sides to the higher echelons of football

"If you look at my record as manager, all the clubs I've been to, it's been a building process. I'm a longevity coach, I'm not a short-term coach. If you are looking for a quick fix, I'm not that type of person."

A former League Managers Association Manager of the Year while with Southampton in 1998, the 61-year-old knows what's required to take unfancied sides to the higher echelons of football. He guided Wolverhampton to the Premier League, led Cardiff to the FA Cup final and lifted Sheffield Wednesday back to the Championship.

Now Jones wants to do the same at the international level with Singapore. 

"My next stage of development as a manager is to go on to the international scene. I've been a club manager for near on 20 years, I see going to international football as a move forward - a promotion. With the experience I've got, I wanted to pass that on, really," noted Jones.

"I see international football as the next level of going up."

Jones says he is currently waiting on a response from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

When contacted by FFT on the matter, the FAS didn't comment on Jones or any other candidates specifically, just issuing a response which read: "The Football Association of Singapore will make an announcement in due course with regards to V. Sundramoorthy's replacement and hence will not be making any comment on this matter till then."

Jones is also a man who has done his homework

"I knew the previous coach (V. Sundramoorthy) was having a bit of a rough time," said Jones. "In football sadly, you really get a opportunity if somebody's not doing well and that's the sad part of the game ... there's an opportunity and that's why I applied for the post."

This is not the first time Jones has been interested in taking charge of the Lions either.

"I was interested near on two years ago when the post came up, but the national team went local and that ended any sort of applying for the job," added Jones.

Jones also is a man who has done his homework about the 171st-ranked Lions.

"You've got the Suzuki Cup coming up in six months, so I would think at the moment anybody who goes in it will be a short-term plan (first). Then looking at the long-term, but at the moment the priority would be the Suzuki Cup, finding out who is good enough to play at international level."

Asia is a familar region for Jones, with the Englishman having turned out for Hong Kong side Seiko SA for close to a season-and-a-half as a player in the early 1980's, first on loan from Coventry and then signing a permanent contract the following year.

"I had a good time and it helped that I never lost a game when I was there, we won everything and I met some good players from different parts of the world," said Jones. "I loved the place and had a fantastic time. For me it was the right move, a good career and a good learning curve.

"The people were fantastic with me, still my favourite part of the world ... if there is an opportunity to go anywhere in the world, Asia would be one of the first places I'd look."

Whether a return to Asia is on the cards will all be down to the FAS, as Jones now plays a waiting game.

"I've applied for the post, I would like the opportunity to be interviewed," said Jones. "To show what I've got and what my credentials are, and helping put Singapore back on the map as a team, certainly within Asia and beyond."