25 September 2012

We are not afraid, declares Kwon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
KWON Oh-son is relishing the opportunity to lock horns with Indonesia tomorrow night.

The national football team take on Indonesia in a friendly match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, and despite the Merah Putih long regarded as one of the powerhouses in the region, the Wasps' coach insists his players have nothing to fear in what will be their biggest game in years.

The match is being held as part of the team's preparations for next month's ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Myanmar, with the team also having competed in six friendlies against Malaysian club sides earlier this month.

"We are not afraid," declared the South Korean after yesterday's training session.

"Any country, any team. We are not afraid!

"The players will be very happy to see a packed stadium and they'll be fully motivated and focused.

"Just look at what happened during the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT)," smiled Kwon, referring to the national Under-21 team's 2-0 win over Indonesia in March to clinch the tournament for the first time in front of huge home support.

It is easy to see why Kwon oozes confidence.

He surprised the nation by leading the Under-21 team to victory in the HBT, and during the friendlies in Malaysia, held Malaysian Super League champions Kelantan to a 1-1 draw.

"Those friendlies were important for two things," he explained.

"They gave us confidence and they gave us international match experience.

"Right now during training we're working a lot on defensive and attacking organisation as well as controlling and changing tempo," he added.

His familiarity with the players many of whom featured in the HBT team is also another reason the tactician seems so assured of himself, as is the fact that the squad has been strengthened by the dozen DPMM FC players who joined the team last week.

However, only goalkeeper Mohd Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yusof and midfielders Ak Mohammad Fakharrazi Pg Hj Hassan, Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris and Mohd Najib Hj Tarif will be available for selection tomorrow night.

Brunei's only professional club, DPMM FC take on Home United FC in the Singapore League (S-League) on Saturday, the game the toughest of the four matches for the club as they close out the season.

DPMM FC lie second in the 13-team S-League while Home are four points adrift at fourth.

Trailing league leaders and defending champions Tampines Rovers FC by seven points, DPMM FC have a genuine shot at winning the S-League title, and though it would take a slip-up from Tampines for them to do so, Kwon is rooting for the reigning Singapore League Cup champions to make it a double.

"I am grateful to have DPMM FC players to call upon," he said.

"DPMM FC have an important game against Home United and they are second in the S-League. I want them to win the game, and then the S-League. That's the goal.

"For us, our goal is to qualify for the Suzuki Cup.

"These are two teams trying to achieve their target.

"We are both trying to do our best and develop Brunei football at the same time."

The Brunei Times 

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