Faiq: SEA Games team more prepared this year

Yee Chun Leong

FAIQ Bolkiah believes that they are better prepared for this year’s 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The Leicester City Reserves player joined the national under-22 side in a friendly game against the national under-18 team at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas yesterday as final preparations for the August 19-30 event.

“We will do our best. The team has been training since January and we will just be taking it step by step, game by game and then go from there,” said Faiq in an interview with BruSports News yesterday.

“We are definitely more prepared for this SEA Games than the last one.

“We should make sure we defend properly, stay compact and disciplined,” added the 19-year-old, who has five caps to his name.

Faiq Bolkiah (C) in action during a friendly match against the national under-18 football team yesterday. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Faiq will make his second appearance at the Games having made his debut at the previous edition in Singapore two years ago.

When asked on his preparations for the upcoming tournament, Faiq replied: “I just finished pre-season actually and it is the toughest time in making everyone fit.

“We did a lot of running and fitness, and I feel good and definitely want to compete,” added the winger.

Brunei have been drawn in a much favourable Group A together with hosts Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Singapore.

The other side comprise of defending champions Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Timor Leste.

The Sultanate’s hottest football prospect emphasised that defence and teamwork will be key to success.

“Like I said, I would like to take this tournament game by game,” said Faiq.

“I think in order for us to have a chance of going into next round we have to look at it game by game and try to get cleansheets,” he added.

“To be fair, every game will be tough. We should just keep our heads down and just keep working hard and stay together as a team.

“We've got good support, good officials and a great president (HRH Prince Hj Sufri Bolkiah),” concluded Faiq, who got on the scoresheet against Timor Leste in the previous edition.

Faiq Bolkiah (R) talking to national coach Kwon Oh-son. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Final preparations done

The SEA Games team (national under-22 football team) defeated the national under-18 team 3-0 in a friendly game yesterday at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

It is their final preparations for the 29th SEA Games as they will depart to the Malaysian capital tomorrow.

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[Related: Brunei expect tough competition at SEA Games]

The Sultanate will kick off their campaign against the hosts at the Shah Alam Stadium on Monday follow by a meeting against Myanmar four days later at the UiTM Stadium.

They will face Laos on August 21 at the UM Arena Stadium before completing group stage play against Singapore at the MP Selayang Stadium two days later.

Brunei failed to register a point in the previous edition after dropping all five of their matches at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore.

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