14 January 2012

Turning to Games' Fab 4

Jason Thomas

Friday, January 13, 2012

Adi, Reduan, Mohd Hendra Azam and Mohd Najib named in Brunei's HBT team

EXPECT to see these four names for many more years to come.

Kwon Oh-son yesterday told The Brunei Times he has picked striker Adi Said, defender Reduan Hj Petara as well as midfielders Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris and Mohd Najib Hj Tarif as four of the country's overage players at next month's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT).

Hosted biennially by Brunei, the Under-21 competition for ASEAN countries which all member nations plus Timor Leste have confirmed their participation allows each team to field five overage players, with the South Korean coach still undecided as to who to don the gloves.

Though finding a goalkeeper might be a problem ahead of the Feb 25-March 5 event, Kwon's decision to choose the rest of the players took care of itself.

The four played together at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Jakarta, where Brunei picked up a win, a draw and two losses.

Tellingly, all five goals scored last November came from these players Adi netted three goals while Mohd Najib and Reduan each bagged one.

Mohd Hendra Azam might not have found the net in the Indonesian capital, but he was an integral cog in the team's midfield and proved his worth with his discipline and calmness.

Adi was also a part of the Borneo Games team that won silver in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, last month making it a busy past few months for the 21-year-old hitman.

Kwon who said that a full squad would be announced shortly is counting on the quartet's understanding and experience to be the difference and hopefully lead the country past the group stage for the first time.

This year marks the first time organisers are introducing the overage competitors rule, with previous editions in 2007, 2005 and 2002 limited to Under-21 players.

A biennial tournament, the HBT is the brainchild of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who desired that an Under-21 football tournament be organised with the aim of increasing friendship and understanding between Southeast Asian youth through sports.

Thailand are the tournament's defending champions after squeezing past Myanmar 5-4 on penalties the last time the event was contested in 2007.

Thailand also beat Myanmar to lift the 2005 edition of the trophy while Indonesia won the inaugural competition back in 2002.

ASEAN groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The Brunei Times

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