| Fadhil Yunus |
CAMBODIA’S national under-21 team captain Souey Visal highlighted his desire to channel his passion for the sport on the pitch during the final of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Asean Youth Football Tournament 2018 recently.
The 22-year-old was first made captain in 2017 during the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur under the tutelage of former Brazilian head coach Leonardo Vitorino.
“With a strong voice, we will enjoy the football, concentrate on the match and keep the passion of the game in your heart,” he told local media in the final preview at the Lecture Theatre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.
“We are brothers and we help each other in the game,” said Visal who plays his club football for Cambodian League outfit Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC.
Asked how it felt to be the first Cambodian captain to lead his side in the HBT final, Visal said, “I’m very happy to be in the final. It is a great deal for our team-mates who worked so hard especially the last two games.”
The team captain spoke of the importance of instilling never-say-die qualities ahead of their first-ever HBT final which they eventually lost 1-0 to Timor Leste.
“On behalf of our team-mates, the idea is never to give up and the dream is to be the champion not only for us but also for our nation. It is the first time that we go through the final so we will never give up.”
Meanwhile, Cambodia under-21 head coach Prak Sovannara saidd that reaching their first final appearance was proof of their hard work and dedication of building the squad.
“This is an evidence to show that from our hard work especially the clubs that produce the players and the federation which brought the results. We are also a young team but the playing time or experience is high,” he said.
Sovanarra said that the players know each other through their time in the younger age groups such as the under-14s which is similar to the pathway used by the Myanmar system.
Visal, who has earned 42 caps for the senior team, also weighed in the importance of the final in his perspective as the team captain.
“For sure, this is a serious responsibility (for the final match). We have to be 100 per cent.”