Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Coach Kim Swee: Go all out in final test before SEA Games

PETALING JAYA: Don’t hold back!

National U-23 football coach Ong Kim Swee at the Incheon Asian Games last year.
National U-23 football coach Ong Kim Swee at the Incheon Asian Games last year.

National Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee wants his players to strut their stuff in the final warm-up match against their counterparts from Indonesia at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung on Thursday.

The former international is aware of the threat of injuries to his players but he wants them to focus on the game and give their best.

“This is the last game before I name the final team (20 players) for the Singapore SEA Games. I want my players to give 100%. I don’t like players who take friendlies lightly and hoping to avoid injuries. It’s not right,” said Kim Swee from Bandung on Tuesday.

“Injuries happen all the time in football.
“I’m not saying players should be reckless in the game. I just don’t want players who are not willing to pull their weight in friendlies.

“There is no point spending money travelling here to Bandung and the players decide to take things easy.”

Malaysia have a history of key players picking up injuries at the eleventh hour.
In 2013, winger Wan Zaharulniam Zakaria was dropped from the Myanmar SEA Games squad after injuring his groin during the team’s final warm-up match against Japanese Third Division outfit FC Ryukyu. 

In 2011, midfielder Gary Steven Robbat was forced out of the squad after aggravating a hamstring injury weeks before the Indonesia SEA Games.
The 28th edition of the SEA Games football competition in Singapore will kick off from May 30-June 15.

Malaysia are in Group B – dubbed the “Group of Death” – with favourites Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste.
Kim Swee is expected to name the final squad on May 25.

Kim Swee, who led Malaysia to the 2011 SEA Games gold medal, said that the team’s preparation is coming along well.

The team have played two friendlies, recording wins over FAM League side Real Mulia FC 4-1 and Premier League outfit Sabah 3-0 last week.

“Playing Indonesia is the perfect test before we name the squad,” said Kim Swee.

 by K. Rajan - The Star

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