29 May 2012

Brunei U-14 team ready for Asian Festival of Football

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BRUNEI aren't putting any pressure on themselves at this week's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-14 Festival of Football in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

A team of 22 footballers and five officials left for the May 30-June 3 event yesterday, and although they have only been training twice a week for two months, they have promised to give their best in the tournament.

"Of course everyone wants to be champions," pointed out team manager Pg Hj Zulkarnain Pg Hj Md Noor.

"But we'll see how the first match goes ... And from there we'll know our players' capabilities," he said, adding that he didn't know which group Brunei would be in as the draw was yet to be made.

The seventh edition of the event is set to attract more than 350 players from 12 countries all 10 ASEAN member nations plus Timor Leste and Australia.

The Sabah Times reported that the festival is divided into two phases; the first a series of coaching, refereeing and physiotherapist courses and workshops which started on May 21 while the second is the tournament proper.

The trip is the fourth that the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) has sent a team to, and more significantly, it represents the youngest side the country has sent out in recent memory.

Brunei are no strangers to the competition though, and many will still remember the country's campaign in 2008 as the year the Sultanate made its mark in the tournament.

It was only four years ago that the country went undefeated in eight matches, leaving the Sabah capital as the only team in the competition not to lose a single game.

Returning to a hero's welcome, probably the most impressive of their five wins was their 3-2 result over regional powerhouse Indonesia.

The majority of this year's team are made up of players from the Sports School, with the remaining coming from the Department of Youth and Sports' football scheme.

It made the job of choosing players a whole lot easier, starting out with 40 and whittling the number down to the current 22.

Speaking to the team before their departure, NFABD general-secretary Mohd Noor Hj Abdullah reminded the players of the trip's potential to open doors in the future.

"This could be the first step in becoming a national footballer," he said.

"Show us your quality ... There will be many chances like this to represent the country again.

"Be committed, disciplined and work hard and always remember to take care of Brunei's good name.

"Your parents are proud of you too so don't disappoint them."

The Brunei Times

No comments:

Post a Comment