Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, August 30, 2012
BRUNEI'S football team departed for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the International Airport in Berakas yesterday as they step up their preparations for the upcoming Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifier campaign in Yangon, Myanmar.
Team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff said the national team will play three important friendly matches against Harimau Muda (Malaysia's Under-21 football squad), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM FC) and Kelantan.
Kelantan is expected to offer the national team their toughest tests in all the friendlies as the Malaysian side boast a strong and experienced team that are deep into their own preparations for Sept 18's AFC Cup quarter-final clash against Iraq's Arbil SC.
With the October 5 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifier fast approaching, the friendlies will give Brunei valuable match exposure and much needed confidence of playing on the international level.
National coach Kwon Oh-son, though, knows the team formed only in July will still need to improve in terms of match fitness and organisation.
"We have only one month left before the competition and there is still a lot more work to be done. Hopefully these friendly matches will help the players be more confident and improve their organisation in both offence and defence," said Kwon.
The national team received a much needed boost to their line up on Tuesday with the inclusion of DPMM FC midfielders Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris, Mohd Najib Hj Tarif and goalkeeper Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof.
"These three players will be very important for us. They have been training with the best club (DPMM FC) in the country. I hope that these players will be able to help the team and boost the confidence of the other players," said the South Korean.
The tournament will see five teams compete for two spots in the Nov 24-Dec 22 tournament proper which will be co-hosted by Malaysia and Thailand.
The Sultanate face Cambodia on Oct 9, Laos on Oct 11 and Timor Leste on Oct 13.
All matches set to be played at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon.
The Brunei Times ..