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Brunei under-23s step up preparations ahead of AFF meet

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam’s under-23 team have entered the advanced stage of their preparations for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia starting on Monday.

The national under-23 team held a training session at the National Institute of Physical Education and Sports (NIPES) in Phnom Penh on Thursday, less than a week before they take on hosts Cambodia in their group opener at the Morodok Techo National Stadium.

The field training session marked an extension of the country’s young football representatives’ programme since their arrival in Phnom Penh following training which focussed on maintaining fitness outside the Garden City Hotel.

Brunei’s under-23 head coach Aminuddin bin Jumat said, “As what had been previously informed, preparations of the Brunei Darussalam Under-23 team had been limited given the current situation whereby Brunei has been hit by COVID-19 infections.

“This made the team unable to conduct physical training and we moved to commence training virtually since August last year.”

Brunei under-23 players take part in a training session at the National Institute of Physical Education and Sports (NIPES) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. PHOTO: FABD
Brunei under-23 coach Aminuddin bin Jumat. PHOTO: FABD

“Once the Sultanate entered the Endemic Phase, the team were able to begin physical training in adherence to standard operating procedures in January.

“Although we have limited time to prepare the players in understanding their weaknesses and strengths, we decided to focus on the things that we needed to improve by systematically organising a training schedule.

“This is because players can adapt to the intensity of training besides protecting and preventing them from getting injuries,” the coach said.

The newly-announced squad – the majority of whom will be making their international debut at under-23 level – was assessed through a selection process initially involving a pool of players from the Brunei Super League, Under-19 Youth League and District League.

Aminuddin added, “The selection of players was made since the start of the Brunei Super League until the period when Brunei was hit by the second wave of COVID-19.

“The selection of players was not only limited to the Brunei Super League but was also extended to the Under-19 League and District League,” the coach said, adding that they were selected based on keen observation from different coaches, with the target to build a team for the long-term.

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