Men’s football: All Group A coaches preview ahead of tomorrow’s clashes

Apr 27, 2023

The wait is almost over as Group A of Men’s football (U22) at the 32nd South East Asian Games in Cambodia will kick off tomorrow. Group A consists of host Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Timor Leste. 

During this morning’s pre-match press conference, all the head coaches gave their preview on the tournament and were also confident in their respective team.  

Ryu Hirose, head coach of Cambodia, said: “We are very proud to host this tournament. In all tournaments and not just this tournament, it is always difficult in the first match. We have already prepared for tomorrow’s match, and we need to try to control the situation.” 

Indra Sjafri, head coach of Indonesia, said: “We faced each other once at the SEA Games in the Philippines, so I’m pleased we will face each other again. We have already prepared a squad of 20 players, and we are ready for the challenge.

“I’m quite surprised [with the stadium]. I came here once back in 2019, and it was an artificial turf. But now it is a natural grass, so it is a great change. Even the training pitch is a bit far from here, the pitch is very good.” 

Michael Feichtenbeiner, head coach of Myanmar, said: “I have coached the team for just two months. We have chances to play a number of matches during our training camp in Thailand with our 20 players. It is the first SEA Games for me as well as for some of our players. We have a young squad, and we are looking forward to all the tough challenges.”

Robert James Dazo Gier, head coach of the Philippines, said: “We have arrived here longer than the other teams to adapt to the whether and pitch. We have a short preparation, but we have done well. We expect good results at this SEA Games. All the matches are tough. We have some players who used to play at SEA Games before, but it is the first time for the other players.”

Park Soon Tae, head coach of Timor Leste, said: “We are very happy to be here. We will take this SEA Games at Cambodia as an opportunity to get more experience. Tomorrow is the match against the host, and we know that the home supporters will come to fill the stadium, so we are pleased to play and will do our best as we have prepared for many months for this tournament.”

Indonesia will take on the Philippines in the opening Group A match, while host Cambodia will face Timor Leste, with both matches played at the National Stadium tomorrow.