RAYONG (17 August 2023) – Vietnam head coach Hoang Anh Tuan said that the AFF Under-23 Championship is a good tournament for competing teams.
While admitting that teams are struggling somewhat to get the best available players, it is a good chance for them to use this tournament to test other players to fortify the team in the long run.
“Just like every team here, we are struggling to get the best players. We only had one day – 14 August 2023 – to train with all the players at the same time,” said Anh Tuan.
“For us, we are using a lot of players from the Under-21 where we only have three U23 players with us. This is a good tournament for the young players to test themselves.”
With the defending champions having the day off tomorrow, Group C will start with a match between the Philippines and Laos.
Philippines head coach Christopher Pedimonte said that they are also utilising players from the U21 and where they will be using the Rayong meet for selection for the AFC qualifiers.
“We had about three decent weeks with the players and I feel that we are ready to face Vietnam and Laos,” added Pedimonte.
“I saw the friendly match between Laos and Brunei DS, so we know what to expect in the game (against Laos) tomorrow.”
For Laos head coach Gugliermo Arena, he is looking to be competitive against the Philippines and Vietnam even though they have 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds in their squad.
“We have about a month together and the team is a mixed team. They have some strengths and some weaknesses. We try to bring some ideas into the squad. The challenge will be different in this tournament,” added Arena.
“I know that quality of the Vietnam youth football. I know that it will be tough even though they are a young team as they have competent coaches in all categories.”
AFF UNDER-23 CHAMPIONSHIP 2023
GROUP C – FIXTURE
18 August 2023 – Rayong Provincial Stadium
1600hrs: Philippines vs Laos