BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (29 Oct 2017) – The national Under-18 football team will be giving it their all at next week’s 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-19 Championship qualifiers in South Korea.
The Under-18 team is better known as Tabuan Muda A and is the same one which competes in the DST Super League under the instruction of Takao Fujiwara.
The side left yesterday to South Korea and face Indonesia in their first game on Tuesday. They take on hosts South Korea on Thursday, Malaysia on Saturday and end their group stage campaign against Timor Leste on November 8.
“Sure… We are in a tough group. But no matter if we lose or draw, the most important thing is that we fight – and we fight for 90 minutes,” said Fujiwara.
His comments were echoed by National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Acting General Secretary Roslin Suhailee.
“Congratulations on being selected to represent Brunei at this prestigious tournament,” he told the players before their departure at the Brunei International Airport.
“Remember that this is a big responsibility for all of you. We are in a tough group, and the players must have a strong mentality and don’t ever give up – no matter what.
“Many of you have international experience playing in other age group tournaments, so use that to your advantage.
“You have been training together since January under the good guidance of coach Takao, and these past 10 months should have given you enough time to be mentally and physically ready for this tournament,” he added.
Also present at the Brunei International Airport to send the team off were NFABD Technical Director Yvon Avry and other officials and staff.
A total of 45 countries divided into 10 groups are competing in the qualifiers held across Asia.
The group winners and five best second-placed teams will advance to next year’s edition of the biennial tournament along with hosts country Indonesia.
The semi-finalists at next year’s AFC Under-19 Championship will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup as Asia’s representatives.
Japan are the reigning AFC Under-19 Championship titleholders, beating Saudi Arabia 5-3 on penalties in Bahrain last year.