JAKARTA (23 March 2012) – In preparation for the qualifying round of the AFC Under-22 Asian Cup in June, the FA of Indonesia (PSSI) are looking at changing 50% of the Under-21 team that took the runners-up spot at the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) 2012 earlier this month.
Chief coach Widodo Putro said that the change is necessary to make the team more solid and competitive in their Group E of the qualifiers which included Australia, Japan, Singapore, Macau and Timor Leste.
“From the assessment which was done after the HBT, we found that there are a handful of players who are unable to give their maximum to the squad and obviously, they have to be left out. We are looking at changing half of the team which is nine out of the 18 players that we brought to Brunei,” said Widodo.
The Indonesian national U21 squad lost in the final of the HBT to hosts Brunei. Widodo said that he has already penned down several players whom he feels can play a role in injecting more confidence into the squad for the U22 qualifiers.
“We will have more time for the AFC U22 qualifiers, so we should be better prepared this time round,” added Widodo.
Pix: Andik Vermansyah, captain of Indonesia U21 team
AFC Under-22 ASIAN CUP – Qualifying round
Group A: United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Lebanon
Group B: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka
Group C: Bahrain, Iran, Tajikistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Maldives
Group D: Uzbekistan, Jordan, Yemen, Bangladesh, Nepal.
Group E: Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Macau, Timor Leste
Group F: North Korea, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Cambodia
Group G: South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Chinese Taipei, Philippines