VIENTIANE (6 July 2011) – While defending champions Vietnam played down their chances of retaining the crown, Thailand are confident that they should returned from this meet as the best team in ASEAN.
The AF Under-16 Championship will kick-off tomorrow at the National Stadium in Laos’ capital city of Vientiane with ten teams taking part.
Vietnam were the winners in 2010 where in the meet that was used as the AFC Preparatory tournament, they won the title after beating China in the final.
But this time round Truong Hai Tung, the team manager of Vietnam said that the team did not have a good enough preparation to win the tournament.
“We only had about 20 days of preparation which is really not enough to play in this tournament,” said Truong.
“I believe that at this point, we are not strong enough for this championship but we are using this meet to better prepare the team for the AFC qualifiers in September.”
In the meantime Thailand chief coach Sasom Pobprasert said that while they respect their opponent, they should return home from this meet as the best in ASEAN.
“We did not have a long enough preparation as well but that does not mean that we do not have a target,” added Sasom.
“Our target is of course the AFC meet but I think that we can be competitive in this tournament and achieve the target which has been set.”
Other than Vietnam and Thailand, the other teams which attended the team managers’ meeting this morning are Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor Leste.
Philippines will arrive only later tonight.
“We do not know any of the opponents but we have prepared the team well. We look forward to our first game (against Timor Leste) and I think that it is possible for us to get our first three points in the competition.” – Han Hyong Il, the chief coach for Laos
“Majority of the players had played at the Arafura Games (in Australia) and they had some valuable experience. We have reinforced the team of course with several others, so I think that our team is much stronger. And I think that we are quite well prepared for our first game.” – Francisco Jeronimo, the head of delegation of Timor Leste
“This is my first year with Myanmar and also my first competition with the team. We have been with the team for the past five months, training in Mandalay where we also played several friendlies. We are excited of course.” – Marko Cosinacosta, the chief coach of Myanmar
“We trained for a week in Pattaya before coming here and played two games. We won the first match 2-1 (against Chonburi FC U15) and then drew 1-1 with the Assumption High School U16). The Thais are strong but I just told the players to play to the best of their ability.” – Khalid Shahdan, the chief coach of Malaysia
“We only had seven days together before coming here, so it is hard to set a target when you know that the team is not as well prepared as it should be. I told the lads that the most important thing is for them to enjoy playing together and that their target is the AFC qualifiers.” – Mundari Karya, the chief coach of Indonesia
“We just came off the Lion City Cup where we finished third. It is our first time here in Vientiane but I think that we have prepared well for this championship. I believe in the players and they had several good games before coming here.” Dejan Gluscevic, the chief coach of Singapore
“We had about two weeks together and we know that it is not enough. But we are taking it one game at a time as afterall, at this age group, it is tough to gauge the strength of your opponent when we are just playing against each other for the first time.” – Phea Sopheaktra, the assistant coach of Cambodia
AFF U16 CHAMPIONSHIP 2011
7 – 20 JULY 2011
|9-Jul-2011||A||Timor Leste||vs||Laos||1700||Vientiane, Laos|
|15-Jul-2011||A||Timor Leste||vs||Malaysia||1700||Vientiane, Laos|
|18-Jul-2011||SF1||Winner A||vs||Runner-up B||1700||Vientiane, Laos|
|SF2||Winner B||vs||Runner-up A||1900|
|20-Jul-2011||3rd/4th||Loser SF1||vs||Loser SF2||1700||Vientiane, Laos|
|Final||Winner SF1||vs||Winner SF 2||1900|