25 May 2015

Faiq entry boosts Brunei

Monday, May 25, 2015

THE national under-23 football team have been boosted by the addition of Faiq Jefri Bolkiah in the lineup ahead of the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore.
The forward, who plies his trade with the Chelsea Academy, arrived in the Sultanate last week and is ready to back up Tabuan Muda at the attacking front.
“I’m going to try to use my physical presence and my strengths of the game - speed and dribbling on the ball (to help the team),” said Faiq in an interview with The Brunei Times after a training session yesterday at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. “I will work hard for the team both defensively and offensively,” he added.
When asked on his target at the SEA Games, Faiq replied: “Hopefully we can improve. I see we got some stronger players from DPMM FC (trio of midfielders Azwan Ali Rahman, Aminuddin Zakwan Md Tahir and Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunus).
“Hopefully that will help us in winning a few games. That is our realistic target,” added the 17-year-old. Tabuan Muda will start their SEA Games campaign against Vietnam in Group B on Friday at the Bishan Stadium.
National under-23 football coach Stephen Ng Heng Seng is glad to have the four players on board and assures that they are ready for the opener.
“Three of them are professional players with DPMM FC and another from the Chelsea Academy so we are hoping the experience they can bring to the team will give the extra push to go forward,” said Ng. “At this stage we are very focussed and we are very serious in terms of preparations in the final lapse. We are ready to face Vietnam next week,” added the Singaporean.
The team recently returned from a 10-day training stint in Japan where they contested in three friendly matches – winning one and losing two.
Saiful Ammar Hj Adis netted the only goal to give Brunei a 1-0 victory over JFA Under-18 Fukushima in the first game.
With the arrival of DPMM FC players then, the under-23 side slipped to a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Kanto Soccer League Division 1 side Ryutsu Keizai University in the second match before getting edged 1-0 by Jubilo Iwata Under-18.
Ng felt that the games were exactly the ones needed for his charges.
“It is a good exposure (for the boys) because we played against quality opponents” said Ng.
“Time and space on the ball was limited and they need to learn to play game faster.
“From past experience as seen from the previous SEA games, our opponents play much faster than us,” he added.
“This is what we have studied and prepared ourselves. Hopefully the boys can put up a good performance for the coming weeks,” continued Ng.
Team manager Pg Mohd Amirrizal Pg Hj Mahmud felt the same way about the Japan trip.
“We achieved our objectives for the Japan trip as we were there to gain experience and to identify both the strengths and weaknesses,” said Pg Mohd Amirrizal.
“From there we moved on and continued to build on our preparations for the SEA Games,” he concluded.
After the encounter against Vietnam, Tabuan Muda will face Laos two days later, Timor Leste on June 3 and defending champions Thailand on June 6.
They will complete their group stage play with a meeting against 2009 and 2011 winners Malaysia on June 8.

The Brunei Times

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