SEPANG – The National Under-13 (U-13) squad which comes under the National Football Development Programme squad is on track to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup in 2019.
The squad coached by Lim Teong Kim showed outstanding performance in winning the Iber Cup in Costa Del Sol, Spain, recently, and it is the starting point of their emergence in the sport.
Assistant coach Raja Azlan Shah Raja Sho’ib said the squad’s journey was still in its early stages, and that the players should gain more knowledge and experience in order to become a strong team.
“We want to embrace football as it is done in Germany. Their young players already know where they are heading in (the world of) football. Now we want to change the mentality of these young players. We want them to have a purpose in football.
“We need to have a solid foundation if we are to produce a winning team. They need to know the basic fundamentals of the sport,” he told reporters after arriving with the 24 players in the squad at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here Tuesday.
The squad has played 24 matches, including against top European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Red Bull Salzburg, FC Sevilla, and Sporting Lisbon.
Of the total number of matches played, the have racked up an impressive 21 wins, two draws and one defeat, scoring 69 goals in the process.
He said besides the players, the coaches should also possess high football knowledge, in line with the positive development of the players.
The European Tour also benefited more than a dozen local coaches who were exposed to training patterns in European academies.
Raja Azlan said the squad will be regroup again at the Bukit Jalil Sports School on July 22.