(Top) National Under-15 coach
Liew Chuan Fue. (Above) Brunei's
Ak Md Jumatatulshahrezan Pg
Metali (R) vies for the ball
with Philippines Global FC
Under-15's Jovan Marfiga
during their Football
Association of Malaysia
(FAM)-Frenz Under-15 ASEAN
Champions Trophy match last
Saturday. Picture: BT file
Liew Chuan Fue has jumped to the defence of his players following their current poor campaign in the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)-Frenz Under-15 ASEAN Champions Trophy.
Speaking to The Brunei Times ahead of tonight's Group B clash against Lao Toyota Academy at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas, the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) Under-15 head coach refused to criticise his players.
"This is a very new team and the players are very young," said Liew yesterday.
"It is not right to judge them now. Yes, we have yet to record a win in the tournament.
"But in all the matches that we have played in, the players have shown us that they can compete with the other players in the tournament in terms of individual skills and capability.
"As I've always said, we need to give this team a chance.
"Even though we don't have the chance to qualify for the next round of the tournament anymore, it is very important to give them support and encouragement," stressed the former national team captain.
The national team have only one point to show after four Group B matches.
They lost three games and drew the other, leaving them at the bottom of the six-team table.
Brunei lost their last game 3-0 to Philippines Global FC Under-15 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.
Brunei also suffered a 4-1 loss to Frenz Indonesia and a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Frenz Malaysia B, both games in which they surrendered early leads.
Tonight's visitors currently sits fourth in the table with five points after one win, two draw and one defeat.
"Laos are a good team... Their standard is not that far from Myanmar and Thailand," warned Liew.
"They have prepared for this tournament and it will not be an easy game for us.
"If we play the game like how we started against Myanmar the other day, I am very sure we can get our first win tomorrow (tonight)," he added.
Indonesia still top the group with 13 points, with Frenz Malaysia B following closely behind with nine points.
Vietnam PVF Academy lead the Group A table with 11 points while Thailand Chonburi Academy are second with 10 points.
The 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 of US$50,000 for the champions and US$25,000 for the runners-up.
The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals.