| YANGON (8 Oct, 2009) – Just looking at the physique of the Australian players has gotten many of the other teams in the Asean Football Federation Under-16 Women’s Championship here worried.
The Aussie gals tower over their Southeast Asian counterparts and that alone gives them an edge going into the tournament which begins tomorrow.
Australia has a tradition of producing strong women players in the past and it is likely to be the same here as well.
While Thailand and Vietnam have also had good sides in the past, it is clear that Australia will start as the favourites.
“They are physically bigger. They are also the most experienced team in this competition. We on the other hand are probably the ones with the least experience,” said Myanmar B coach U Win Sein after the team managers meeting today.
Other coaches including from the host nation also echoed similar comments about the Aussies.
Myanmar B coach U Win Sein warned of the threat posed by the Australians and said it would be a tough group.
Myanmar B, Australia, Vietnam and the Philippines have been drawn in Group B.
Australian assistant coach Victoria Linton said apart from Vietnam, they knew little of the other teams.
“We have not played enough with the other teams to have formed any sort of rivalry. We are taking part in the Asian qualifiers and this will be a great opportunity to acclimatise to the weather and to work on our game.”
In Group A, Thailand and Myanmar A look strong bets to claim the two semifinal spots ahead of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Indonesia, which have been training together for the past two months, are hoping their team learn from their experience here.
“Our team have worked hard in the run-up to this competition and we will try our best,” said Grace Margaret, the Indonesian team manager.
Malaysian team manager Tengku Elli Tengku Ahmat, said the team was made up entirely of players from the state of Sabah, which is located on Borneo island.
She said the team had been training together for three months and will give their best.
Malaysia will have a tough opener against Myanmar A tomorrow at 3.30pm at the National Training Centre.
Thailand will take on Indonesia in the second match of the day, also at the same venue, tomorrow at 6pm.
Tomorrow: Malaysia vs Myanmar A (3.30pm), Thailand vs Indonesia (6.00pm)
Oct 10: Vietnam vs Myanmar B (3.30pm), Philippines vs Australia (6.00pm)
Oct 11: Myanmar A vs Thailand (3.30pm), Indonesia vs Malaysia (6.00pm)
Oct 12: Myanmar B vs Philippines (3.30pm) Australia vs Vietnam (6.00pm)
Oct 13: Myanmar A vs Indonesia (3.30pm), Malaysia vs Thailand (6.00pm)
Oct 14: Myanmar B vs Australia (3.30pm), Vietnam vs Philippines (6.00pm)
Oct 16: Semi-finals
Oct 18: Final