NFABD Under-15 coach Liew
Chuan Fue (2nd L) coaching
on the sidelines during
their June 11 Malaysia
(FAM)-Frenz Under-15 ASEAN
Champions Trophy match
against Myanmar Mandalay
Academy. Liew admitted that
he is worried with his
players' inability to
maintain ball possession.
Picture: BT/ Ak Fauzi Pg
Liew Chuan Fue has admitted he is concerned by his players' inability to hold the ball, an issue which the coach has vowed to tackle in his team's upcoming matches.
Liew, head coach of the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Under-15 side, said that his players' lack of knack and nerve to keep the ball have been the main reasons for their lacklustre results at the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)-Frenz Under-15 ASEAN Champions Trophy.
The national team have scored first in all their three Group B matches but ended up losing two of them and drawing the other,leaving them fifth in the six-team table with only a point to their name.
Brunei lost their last game 3-1 to Frenz Malaysia B on Saturday, and their sole point came when they blew a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Myanmar Mandalay Academy two weeks ago with their first match ending in a 4-1 loss to Frenz Indonesia on June 1.
"Our strikers and midfielders could not hold the ball long enough," said Liew in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"We lose the ball easily, and this adds a lot of pressure to the defenders and goalkeeper.
"It's very difficult to control the game when you can't keep the ball.
"The players will get exhausted from defending and chasing the ball and the opponents will take advantage of this.
"But I think we look very dangerous forward, and I am very sure we will improve in our next game.
"Moreover, we will also welcome back our main striker Syahmi Rashid (who scored against Indonesia) in the team," added the former national team captain.
NFABD Under-15 will face Philippines Global FC Under-15, who have lost all four of their games to and lie bottom of the six-team table, at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Saturday where Liew feels set-pieces will be another area his team will have to work on.
Striker Aiman Harith Farouk's header and tap during the 3-1 defeat to Frenz Malaysia B at the Stadium Frenz Janda Baik in Pahang, Malaysia on Saturday was the third and fourth time they have conceded from set-pieces and crosses in the tournament.
They conceded their first two in the opener against Frenz Indonesia on June 1 when Ichtio Nimatul Akhbar and Imanes Novanrianto converted two crosses from the right, but Liew refuses to blame his back-four.
"The defenders did all they can do in the games. They have been brilliant in all the three matches," continued Liew, who captained Brunei to the 1999 Malaysia Cup.
"Most of the time the defenders were exposed to a threat from the opponents simply because the midfielders did not pressure enough.
"But we need to give this team a chance. It is a very new team and I am very sure that they will only improve in time," added Liew, a former defender himself.
Myanmar Mandalay Academy, Lao Toyota Academy and Philippines Global FC Under-15 Frenz Indonesia and NFABD Under-15 are in Group B of the tournament which is being held for the first time.
Group A is made up of Frenz Malaysia A, Singapore NFA, Vietnam PVF Academy, Phnom Penh Crown Academy, Thailand Chonburi Academy and Timor Leste Under-15.