Caption: National futsal coach Qusmaini Noor Hj Rusli talking to his players during a video briefing session last week. Picture: Courtesy of NFABD
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A GOOD start will be crucial for the national under-20 futsal team when they kick off their Group A opener against Afghanistan at the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Under-20 Futsal Championship in Bangkok tomorrow.
“Tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) game is a big one for us. Of course, we will be hoping for a win and will do our best,” said national futsal coach Qusmaini Noor Hj Rusli in a press release from NFABD.
“We will try to settle down as quickly as possible as this is the first game for both Afghanistan and us, and whoever absorbs the early pressure will do well.
“As I have not seen Afghanistan play, we will use our usual methodology and game plan,” he added.
“We will try to use quick counter-attacks to score goals and try to prevent mistakes from happening - and us allowing Afghanistan to score early.
“We will be a bit careful in the first half so Afghanistan cannot score easily,” continue the Malaysian coach.
Brunei will play for five consecutive days facing Iraq the next day followed by a meeting against hosts Thailand on Thursday.
They will play Bahrain on Friday before closing group stage play against Malaysia the following day.
Qusmaini also said that their busy schedule is a cause for concern.
“Of course fitness will be taken into account, and we will do recovery sessions as early as possible by having the players take ice-baths after the games and resting as much as possible,” said Qusmaini.
We will try to maximise the players we use so that the players’ fitness levels can be maintained until the end of the tournament,” he added.
“I hope for prayers and support from Bruneians and futsal fans. Give these players support because they are the future of Brunei futsal.
“No matter the results, we will give it our all to uphold Brunei’s name in the regional futsal arena,” concluded Qusmaini.
The tournament is held for the first time and will contested at the Bangkok Arena and the Huamark Indoor Stadium.
A total of 21 teams, splits into one group of six teams and three groups of five teams, are competing in the inaugural competition.
The group winners and runners-up from each group will progress into the quarter-finals.