Brunei to play against Frenz Indonesia on Saturday
Brunei has selected 20 players for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Frenz Under-15 ASEAN Champions Trophy.
Competing under the name of National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Under-15, the national team will entertain the visiting Frenz Indonesia in Group B of the tournament at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas at 8.15pm on Saturday.
Speaking to The Brunei Times yesterday, head coach Liew Chuan Fue (pic) said that they have selected two goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders and four strikers for the May 25-Sept 8 tournament.
"Currently we have 20 players in the squad, but we will add some more players in the team as the tournament allows us to list a maximum of 40 players," he said.
"We are targeting to select 30 players for this tournament, and I hope that by tomorrow (today) we will be able to finalise everything.
"We have quite a limited time to select and gather all the players as we were only informed about this in the middle of this month," continued the 1999 Malaysian Cup winner.
The decision to participate in the tournament was made last minute as NFABD were only informed by the organising committee regarding the tournament earlier this month.
"However, most of the players are continuously training under their respective parent clubs as some of them are competing in the TelBru NFABD National Under-16 League," he said.
"All the players are from the Brunei Darussalam School Sports Council (MSSSBD), Brunei Sports School, Projek Ikan Pusu (PIP), Muara Vella and from all schools in the four districts," said Liew.
Asked about his target in the tournament, the head coach refused to answer the question directly, instead saying that they will give their best in the tournament.
"We will do the best we can in the tournament. I would like to say thanks to NFABD for making this happen as I believe that participating in a big tournament like this will help us to develop our young footballers," said Liew.
"We are not that far ahead in terms of football development, especially at the grassroots level, so I hope that we will be able to give a good performance in the tournament," added the ex-national team skipper.
Twelve teams from 10 ASEAN member countries and Timor Leste are divided into two groups of six for round robin matches played in both home and away matches in the tournament.
Brunei's NFABD Under-15 and Frenz Indonesia will be joined by Myanmar Mandalay Academy, Lao Toyota Academy, Philippines Global FC Under-15, and Frenz Malaysia B.
Meanwhile, Group A is made up of Frenz Malaysia A, Singapore NFA, Vietnam PVF Academy, Phnom Penh Crown Academy, Thailand Chonburi Academy and Timor Leste U-15s.
The inaugural tournament, which is the brainchild of FAM Deputy President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and the Frenz United Football Academy of Pahang, Malaysia, offers a grand prize US$50,000 to the champions, while US$25,000 will go to the runners-up.
The top two of each group will progress to the semi-finals, contested over two home and away legs. The two legs of the grand finals are slated for August 24 and September 1.
Football fans in the country and the general public are invited to watch the matches throughout the tournament and entrance to all games are free of charge.