NAYPYITAW (19 Aug 2013) – A new city and a new stadium are just some of the factors that will make this week’s AFF AYA Bank Under-16 Championship as being more than just another tournament for the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF).
The MFF, who have been a consistent organizer and supporter of most of AFF events over the last few years, are using the tournament as part of their preparation for the 27th edition of the SEA Games which they will be hosting at the end of the year.
Tin Aung, the general secretary of the MFF said after the team managers’ meeting this morning that organising this tournament will reveal flaws and problems that the national body intend to use for the betterment of the SEA Games organisation.
“Organising the SEA Games is a major undertaking and a big challenge for us,” said Tin Aung. “So having this tournament here will be a big experience for us to prepare for the SEA Games considering that the stadium here is a new venue.
“Whatever is the challenge, we are ready to face it where certainly we will use it as a lesson for the MFF.”
The 30,000 Wanatheikdi Stadium will be the main venue for the AFF U16 Aya Bank Championship with ten teams to battle for honours following the absence of Timor Leste and Thailand.
Other than constant campaigner Australia, Brunei are making a return to the fold after last taking part in 2007 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
“We have been preparing only for the past month but we felt that it was important that we take part and support this AFF event after missing out for the past few years,” said Morni Zakaria, the team manager of Brunei.
“We will try our best for sure but with the short period of time, we have had to concentrate on the physical rather than on the tactical. We will see what happens in our first game (against Cambodia on 22nd August).”