BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (20 Feb 2012) – Kwon Oh Son, the chief coach of the Brunei Under-21 team, is not perturbed with the change in the groupings for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy 2012 following the last minute withdrawal of defending champions Thailand.
The FA of Thailand (FAT) made the announcement this week that their U21 squad will not be taking part in the HBT 2012 due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. With the pullout, hosts Brunei will now take over Thailand’s slot in Group B.
Group B are now Brunei, Timor Leste, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia while Group A with Singapore, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos.
“It shouldn’t be a problem for us. We have been preparing for all the countries participating in the competition and not only those from our group,” said Oh Son, of the tournament slated for 25 Feb to 9 March 2012.
“There are good teams in the group, but we will continue to train in the lead up to the tournament and be ready (for the challenge).”
Following the change, Brunei will now take on Cambodia in their first game on 25 February 2012.
“We are ready for the opening match. It will be a good match-up since our opponents have been training for a long time as well,” said the South Korean. “We are always looking for a win. The players have a lot of potential and training has gone well.
“The coaches, manager and officials have all worked hard together so we are looking to put up some good results.”
Indonesia were the winners in 2002 while Thailand emerged victorious in 2005 and 2007.