SEA GAMES 2013: Malaysia Head to East Europe
PETALING JAYA (19 March 2013) – The Malaysian Under-23 team will be spending some five months in Eastern Europe as part of their preparation for the SEA Games 2013 that will be hosted by Myanmar at the end of the year.
The defending SEA Games champions had already decided against playing in the S-League in Singapore this year where had already begun their preparation by playing in three friendlies over the last several weeks.
They held the national teams of Myanmar and Laos to a draw before conceding a loss to Cambodia.
”We have reached an agreement with the agency arranging for these matches where teams playing against us will have to include at least 80% of the players from the first team,” said Ong Kim Swee (pix), the chief coach of the Malaysian national U23 team.
“This is the only way to ensure that we get quality matches playing against the best players there are.”
The Malaysia lads will begin their sojourn in Eastern Europe with a game against the Slovakian Under-23 team on 23 March. Their other opponents in Slovakia included MSK Zilina – the team which had made several appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
Other opponents include MFK Ruzemberok, FC Nitra, MFK Myjava, FK Senica, ViON Zlate Moravce dan FK Dukla, Budapest Ujpest FC dari Hungary and Slavia Prag (Czech Republic).
”Our target is to rectify the weaknesses in the team while at the same time, find the right balance between defending and attacking,” he added. ”We have to also work on the short passes.”