The AFF Under-18 Next Media Cup 2019 which kicks off tomorrow in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam present the chance for teams to go to the next level.

With all matches being shown live – the first in the history of AFF’s age group competition – the level of readiness of all participating teams showed that for the first time in years, the championship is perhaps finally realising their objectives.

“For us, results are not as important as the desire to work for the national team. The performance of these young players is geared towards that,” said Vietnam head coach Hoang Anh Tuan. “We have prepared the team as well as we could but youth football is fast changing. It is not easy to predict.”

Added Australian head coach Gary AVn Egmond: “this championship is very important for players’ development. We are shaping a new set of players and we have to realise that there no more easy games in Asia.”

“I did not have a long time to prepare the team but the one thing I can promise is that we will give a good account of ourselves. Most of the players are from the academy – Cambodia head coach Gyotoku Koji

“The boys have settled in well, so we are quite prepared for the matches. We will play Thailand in our opening game, it will be a good chance to show good performance.” – Singapore head coach Mohamed Fadzuhasny

“We have been preparing for quite a while, as such we have brought with us the strongest squad possible. Definitely we are looking to do well as Vietnam have been improving a lot in the past few years – Thailand head coach Ithsara Sritharo

“The team has been shaping up well under new coach Bradley (Maloney). Certainly, we are looking forward to playing against the host (Vietnam) in our opening match.” – Malaysian team manager Sentil Kumar

“Most of the players are from the U16 champioship last year with several additions from the academies. We respect all teams here and we are looking at just one game at a time.” – Indonesia head coach Fakhri Hussaini

“The first game is very important. We are looking for the opening win. And while we respect our opponents, we will put up our best performance possible.” – Myanmar head coach Soe Myat Min

“We prepared the team for the past five to six weeks. The players all came from the clubs and provinces. We are playing against strong opponents so we will be looking for a good performance.” – Laos head coach V. Sundramoorthy

“The team has been together for the past several years. We have built this team around the side that played in Surabaya. So we are looking to develop this team further.” – Brunei head coach Stephen Ng

“We are in a tough group so it is important that we do well in our opening match. We have prepared this team for the past few weeks, so we will be looking for more experience.” – Philippines head coach Christopher Pedimonte

“We are ready for this tournament. And we are looking forward to doing well in our first match (against Brunei).” – Timor Leste Andy Susanto


FIXTURES – 6 August 2019


1530: Laos vs Myanmar – Binh Duong

1830: Timor Leste – Binh Duong

1530: Indonesia vs Philippines – Binh Duong 2

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