BANGKOK – National Under-22 squad coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s boys are ready for action in Group H despite facing a major hurdle in the run up to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC Under-23) qualifier which starts here tomorrow.
Malaysia, aiming to qualify for the AFC Cup Under-23 final in China, had less than a week of training before coming to Bangkok.
“Though we faced difficulties in getting the players together for training, I believe the players are ready for action. Our aim is to qualify for the final next year,” he told reporters here today.
Malaysia will open their campaign against Indonesia at 4pm local time (5pm Malaysia) at the Supachasalasai National Stadium in Bangkok, tomorrow.
Kim Swee said all the teams participating in the qualifier had prepared well, especially Indonesia and Thailand.
Indonesia and Thailand who had started preparations early are early favourites while Mongolia are the dark-horse in the tournament said the 46-year-old coach from Melaka.
Kim Swee faced a mammoth task to prepare the team for the tournament when players who were representing their respective teams in the M-League, refused to release them since the league is at the crucial stage.
The coach managed to gather the squad just five days before leaving to Bangkok. – BERNAMA