|Coaches and players from Group E teams pose for photos after their press briefing in Hà Nội on October 22. – VNS Photo Thanh Hà|
HÀ NỘI – All four Group E teams are ready for the first round of the Asian U19 Women’s Championship Qualifiers, which will begin today in Hà Nội.
Speaking at the press briefing on Monday, coach Mai Đức Chung of Việt Nam said his young players were training hard and could not wait for the games.
"My players are 16- to 18-year-old women who have been together for about three weeks,” said Chung. “Despite the short turnaround we are confident ahead of the tournament."
"We received strong support from the federation for this competition,” he said. “Players have showed their progress in training; however, I watched other teams practicing and they have also improved a lot. We should respect our opponents and keep a close eye on them. We must have a plan for each game.”
Striker Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Ngân also spoke at the press conference.
"It is my second time competing at the U19 event,” Ngân said. “This time, my teammates are young and inexperienced. As their senior I must do my best and push them through."
Coach Jacob MJ Joseph of Malaysia expressed his determination to do well.
"Malaysia are back in the youth tournament after 10 years,” he said. “We had only two weeks to work together. We came here early to get used to the conditions. We played two friendly matches with local teams and drew both.”
"I saw Vietnamese players on the training field and they are quite good,” said Joseph. “Other teams are also strong. Our goal is to beat Việt Nam in the first match and then plan for the other matches later."
Abdallah Abu Hantash of Jordan and Melisa Ye Hui Ting from Singapore are also determined to qualify for the next round. They both expressed their desire to get off to a winning start.
Việt Nam will meet Malaysia in the first match today while Singapore will play Jordan at the Việt Nam Youth Football Training Centre’s Yanmar Field.
The qualifying campaign will have two rounds. The group winners and two best second-place teams will progress to second round. The top four teams from two pools will then join the finals with the 2017 tournament’s top three of Japan, North Korea and China.
Round two will be held from April 22 to 30 next year.
Thailand will host the finals with dates to be confirmed later. – VNS