Malaysia Yellow, one of the two Malaysian teams, has set a target of reaching the final at least in the 4th edition of the Yamaha Asean Cup 2012 Under-13 football tournament.
The other Malaysian team playing in the tournament from July 13-15 at the Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kelana Jaya, is Malaysia Blue. As hosts, Malaysia is allowed to have two teams in the tournament.
Vietnam, the first winners of the title in 2008, Indonesia the 2010 champions and defending champions Thailand plus India, who made their Yamaha Cup debut last year, are the other teams in the five-nation tournament.
Coach Haris Lajid said Malaysia Yellow is “not only the best but also the most well prepared Malaysian team” to compete in the Yamaha Asean Cup since the tournament was inaugurated in 2008.
“Malaysia Yellow is ready to face the challenge in this year’s Yamaha Asean Cup. We started our preparations since the beginning of this year. This team has been together since January. I am told the previous teams never had such benefits.
“Our target is to reach the final at least. It is within our reach and I hope both the Malaysian teams will make the final,” said Haris.
Malaysia Yellow is represented by the Bukit Jalil Sports School, which currently plays in the on-going Ministry of Education Malaysia (Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia) Under-14 League.
“This league (Ministry of Education) has been a good exposure for the team. It also allowed me to pick the best players to carry our challenge in the Yamaha Asean Cup.
“We have the confidence to go far after seeing my players perform in the Ministry of Education League. Some of my key players were injured during the league but they have now recovered and back in the team.”
Malaysia’s best so far in the Yamaha Asean Cup was finishing runners-up to Vietnam in the inaugural tournament.
The Malaysia Blue team was picked from this year’s Under-12 Liga 1MCC and coached by Matt Holland, who is the 1Malaysia Cardiff City Football Academy’s Technical Coaching Coordinator of National Football Development Programme.
GOALKEEPERS: Mohd Suhail Mohd Sofian, Wan Zakhrul Hakimi Wan Isa.
DEFENDERS: Muhammad Al-Imran Abdul Halim, Mohammad Syafiq Shamsudin, Mohd Izwan Iskandar, Muhammad Zikry Azwira Azian, Mohd Fadhil Janudin, Noor Azmierul Hakimi Mohd Noor, Ahmad Tasnim.
MIDFIELDERS: Ammar Akhmal Alias, Awang Muhammad Faiz Awang Fathi, Muhammad Zahril Azri Zabri, Wan Alif Aiman Rosmaidi, Mohd Hasif Mailang.
STRIKERS: Mohamad Arieffahmi Mohamad Azam, Mohd Khairuddin Mat Yaman, Mohamad Norfaiz Johari, Mohd Saiful Aliyas.
Coach: Haris Lajid