Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
National trials continue in Belait
Monday, January 6, 2014

Only three of the 48 players who tried their luck at yesterday's Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy trials in Belait impressed national coach Kwon Oh-son.

Held at the Mumong Sports Complex, the trials are the latest in a series of tests in all four districts to select players for an Under-21 team to represent the country at April's HBT - a regional football tournament for Asean countries.

Asked on how many players will be selected from the nation-wide trials, the South Korean said: "It depends. So far we have 10 players from Tutong, three from Belait and 41 players from Brunei-Muara - and there is another trial tomorrow (today) in Temburong," said the national coach in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.

"There are a number of good players who turned up for the trial today (yesterday) but we are looking for complete players with high spirit, discipline and an eye for goal.

"We need to finalise the number of the players as soon as possible as we are going to organise camp training starting on Saturday.

"We will confirm all the players on Tuesday during the final phase of the trial which will be held at the Balapan Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas at 8pm, and then all the players selected will be grouped together at the Youth Centre at the capital and will undergo intensive training for the tournament.

"Now I can only tell you that the team will mostly consist of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games squad as they have trained together since last April, and we are hoping to add new talent from the trials too," he added.

The Under-23 SEA Games squad lost all their four matches in Group A of the 27th edition of the tournament held in Myanmar last month.

The national team started their campaign with a 7-0 loss to Vietnam and followed that up with a 2-0 defeat to two-time champions Malaysia.

They lost 2-0 to Singapore in their next game before going down 3-2 to Laos in their final game, finishing the tournament without a point to their name - the main highlight the brace striker Adi Said scored against Laos.

Brunei enter the HBT as defending champions after winning the event for the first time by beating Indonesia 2-0 two years ago - though they had the help of five over-aged players; Adi, midfielders Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris, Mohd Najib Hj Tarif, centre-back Reduan Hj Petara and right-back Md Azri Zahari.

The team's manager Hj Feisal Hj Eusoff previously called for the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to consider letting those born in 1992 to join the HBT as that would enable the country to select former key HBT players such as Md Azri and midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman.

Kwon is also hoping for the same.

"This year we will also need five over-aged players in the team, and we are still waiting the decision from the ministry on that," he said.

To be held in April at a date yet to be confirmed, the biennial tournament for Under-21 Asean countries is primed to be the highlight event of the country's local football calendar.

The Department of Youth and Sports' nation-wide trials only started at the Tutong district on Friday and continued the following day in Brunei-Muara.

The search for players continues in Temburong at the Temburong Sports Complex at 3pm today.

Courtesy from Brunei Times