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    Brunei readying for ASEAN football meet

    Fadhil Yunus

    The Brunei Darussalam national football team are currently stepping up their training preparations in anticipation of the upcoming Asean Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 (AMEC 2022) later this month.

    The Wasps, led by Head Coach Mario Rivera Campesino and his coaching team, held a training session at the Track and Field of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex yesterday.

    Team Manager Pengiran Haji Mohd Waslimin bin Pengiran Setia Jaya Pengiran Haji Abdul Momin and Assistant Team Manager Ah Chua Bangau were present to oversee the preparations.

    Pengiran Haji Mohd Waslimin said in an interview with the Bulletin, “We want to provide competition to our opponents. We are also the underdogs coming into our fixtures.”

    Among those who were seen in training were several DPMM FC players as well as several players from domestic clubs.

    The Wasps during a training session. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS

    Some 26 to 30 players are currently involved in training ahead of the squad announcement to determine who will be on the plane to Kuala Lumpur.

    The final squad, which is expected to consist 23 players as well as 14 officials, is due to leave the country on December 12, where they will then enter the final phase of their pre-tournament preparations.

    Brunei will be based in the Malaysian capital at least for the entirety of the group stage, where they will be playing their home matches at the KLFA Stadium.

    Mario’s charges is also expected to play a sparring match against a Malaysian-based club a day after their arrival at the UPM Stadium.

    The players had been called up for international duty since March 2022 before they played their first international match against Laos.

    The national team had since played six international matches, with the 1-0 victory against Laos during the Tri-Nations series last September serving as confidence booster ahead of the crucial AMEC qualification round against Timor Leste.

    Brunei produced one of their biggest wins in international history after beating Timor Leste 6-2 in the first leg, en route to qualification to the group draw of the AMEC 2022.

    The Wasps will make their first competitive appearance in Asean football in 26 years against Thailand on December 20.

    They will then travel to the Philippines to face the Azkals three days later before returning to their adopted home stadium to meet Indonesia on December 26. Brunei will conclude their group stage campaign against Cambodia away on December 29.

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