Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Prince's advice to football team
Sunday, November 13, 2011

His Royal Highness Prince Hj
Sufri Bolkiah (L), the President
of the Brunei Darussalam
National Olympic Council
(BDNOC), watching yesterday's
SEA Games football match
between Brunei and Vietnam at
the Lebak Bulus Stadium in
Jakarta. Accompanying HRH
were YAM Pengiran Muda 'Abdul
Aleem (C) and YAM Pengiran
Anak 'Aliiyah Amalul Bulqiah (R).
Picture: BT/ Jason Thomas

HIS Royal Highness Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah didn't like what he saw during Vietnam's 8-0 drubbing of Brunei at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football competition here yesterday.

Brunei needed to win the match against the 2009 runners-up to stand any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, but down 4-0 after quarter of an hour, keeping the score respectable became more of a concern.

"I'm not really happy because to me, they were really careless in the first half (which ended 6-0)," said the president of the Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council (BDNOC).

"The goalkeeper (Junaidi Akim) didn't play well. For me, he should have been changed after the second goal instead of waiting until six. To me, what's the use at that point?

"I'm not a footballer but I say they should have changed him at 2-0. Why wait until 6-0?

"I noticed that a few players are good, like No 9 (striker Hamizan Aziz Sulaiman) for example, but there is no teamwork.

"I don't blame the team for the result because Brunei was suspended for two years. Suddenly, with God's will, they (Fifa) lifted the sanction (in late May).

"So we said why not let them go?

"But to me, if we let them go, they should put in an effort to work hard. I think today (Saturday), in the first half, they did not work hard.

"To me, they let in easy goals and passed the ball in defence when Vietnam were near. They should have just cleared the ball," added His Royal Highness, who is also the Honorary President of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD).

The team's second-choice goalkeeper, Junaidi performed well after Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin Pg Hj Sallehuddin was sidelined with a shoulder injury he picked up during Brunei's 2-1 loss to Timor Leste in the opener last Saturday. Junaidi was between the sticks during the 2-2 draw with Laos on Monday and the 4-0 loss to Myanmar on Wednesday.

But the last goal he let in yesterday, a spectacular 30-yard half-volley from Hoang Van Binh, gave coach Dayem Hj Ali no choice but to replace him with Ak Omar Nur Aqammadin a risky gamble lest the goalkeeper aggravate his injury.

Discipline, or the lack of it, has also been an issue for Dayem over the four games, with three of those matches ending with the team playing with a man down Hamizan was shown his second yellow card 10 minutes from time yesterday.

The SEA Games football competition caters for Under-23 players but some of the country's players are eligible to feature in the Under-21 team that will represent Brunei at next February's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy, a competition for Asean countries a fact His Royal Highness was quick to point out.

"Why has there been a red card in every game except for the first one against Timor Leste?" questioned His Royal Highness. "We have no chance at making the final now but they should work hard in the upcoming game against the Philippines.

"Work hard in preparation for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy which we will host next February ... December, January, February we only have three months to prepare now.

"Because if we lose on our home ground, where is the pride?"

Courtesy from Brunei Times