13 January 2014

HBT trials continue today

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
TRIALS for the Hassanal Bolkiah Tophy (HBT) will reach its pinnacle by the end of the week.
A total of 108 players have been selected over tests in all four districts over the past week and the number is down to 60 after last night’s session at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
The players were separated into teams and competed in 20-minute matches. They were then selected by a panel of coaching staff based on their performance to progress into the next phase of the selection.
The remainder of the batch will continue training from tomorrow to Saturday to narrow down the number of players to 30.
These players will then undergo intensive training starting Monday at the Youth Centre in the capital.
National football coach Kwon Oh-son was impressed by the performance of the players last night and is hoping to see more of it over the next couple of days.
“There are some special players who are impressive and very good. They have good speed and skills,” said Kwon in an interview with The Brunei Times last night.
“Football skill is the most important trait that we are looking for at the moment. From there we will let them undergo training to improve further. Some of them have very good potential,” he added.
“We need players with good spirit and also good scoring ability. We are searching for those who have the ability to create for their teammates and also to score
Kwon went on to thank the parents, coming from all districts, for their continuous support and having to put in sacrifices to bring their children to attend the trials.
Team manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff was also delighted with the pool of talent that was unearthed throughout the trials.
“I’m happy with the performance of the players from all districts. They have shown that Brunei have got good potential in football,” said Hj Feisal.
“There are a lot of talented players, some aged 16 or 17. We will look at the best 30 players but will also retain the rest of them to continue training and development with other coaches,” he said.
Hj Feisal also wants the players to concentrate on football and not let anything bother them.
“I want the players to focus only on training and do their best in football. The management will do their best to handle whatever is necessary in terms of welfare with the Ministry (of Culture, Youth and Sports),” said Hj Feisal.
The HBT — a biennial football tournament for Under-21 ASEAN countries — is slated to kick off in April, with a date yet to be confirmed.
The Sultanate are the defending champions after defeating Indonesia 2-0 in the final at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas two years ago.

The Brunei Times

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