YANGON (27 April 2014) – As Myanmar will be hosting the AFC U-19 Championship 2014 for the first time, the onus is on German coach Gerd Zeise to deliver in front of the home supporters who would like to see the ASEAN country at least making it into the last four of the competition.
Despite being pitted alongside the tournament’s favourites Iran as well as Yemen and neighbours Thailand, coach Zeise is unfazed and adamant that a good preparation in next five or six months would do the trick for the host nation.
“First and foremost, everything is possible in football so the draw for us is not so cruel,” said Gerd.
“Definitely Iran are the strongest opponents in the group but Thailand and Yemen are also not that far. I saw a youthful exuberance from Yemen during the U-22 Championshidp in Oman and we know Thailand very well and I am sure we will be ready to face them.
“The onus is on us as we are the host so we must prepare better to at least make it into the knockout stages of the competition.”
Zeise has arranged a three-week training camp in his home nation Germany where they will play five friendly matches to prepare for the competition which bears four Asian tickets for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup to be played in New Zealand.
“The teams that we will face in Germany will be good-quality teams and we have also arranged a couple of friendlies in Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei,” he added.
“Our first target it to see off the group stage and we have realistic chances of having huge home support for our side. At home, we can stun the big boys.”