27 July 2013

Brunei football deep into SEA Games preparations

Saturday, July 27, 2013
NATIONAL football coach Kwon Oh-son is pleased with the progress of his players as they step up their preparations for December's Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar.

"We (national Under-23 team) managed to prepare quite early for the SEA Games this year and I feel that we are progressing well and steady," said Kwon yesterday.

"We have trained every day since April and the players are in good condition.

"When we first started training we had 40 players with us, but now we only have less than 20.

"Most of them are from the (Under-21) team that won the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) last year, while some of them are new players from local clubs in the national league," he South Korean.

Kwon added that three DPMM FC players Adi Said, Azwan Ali Rahman and Md Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof will also be a part of the squad for the SEA Games.

"Key players such as Adi, Azwan and Fakhrul are currently training with DPMM FC (and) I have no worries about these three players as they are training and playing with the best club in Brunei," said the coach.

"I hope that we will be able to welcome them to train with the rest of the squad by the time DPMM FC finish their Singapore League campaign (in September).

"We will try hard and give our best, and I hope that we will be able to achieve a good result for Brunei this year," he added.

Brunei failed to progress past the group stage at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, where they played out to one win, one draw and three losses.

Brunei started their campaign with a 2-1 loss to Timor Leste before drawing 2-2 with Laos.

They then fell 4-0 to Myanmar and 8-0 to Vietnam before winning their last match against the Philippines 2-1.

Brunei is working on a friendly game with the Indonesian SEA Games team scheduled for August 14, a match against the 2011 runners-up which, if works out, Kwon will welcome with open arms.

"I heard about the friendly and it will be a very good opportunity for the players if it happens," he said.

"Indonesia are currently preparing for the SEA Games too and they are one of the best teams in the region, so it will be a very interesting match.

"Over the past few months we have only been focusing on physical and tactical training and this friendly match will give us very good match practice," he added.

Kwon's last international outing was in October for the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Suzuki Cup 2012 qualifiers in Myanmar, where the senior team finished with six points from two wins and two losses.

The Wasps started off with a 1-0 loss to hosts Myanmar, bounced back with a 3-2 victory over Cambodia and followed that with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Laos.

The Sultanate then went on to put in a convincing performance to stun Timor Leste 2-1 in their final match of the tournament.The Brunei Times

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