Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council (MS ABDB), and Indera Sports Club Futsal took cautious steps as they prepare for the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013 which begins in Kuala Terengganu on Friday.
As the countdown to the second edition of the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup gets underway with ground staff working round-the-clock at the Kuala Terengganu Indoor Stadium, the mood in both the Brunei teams is that of jovial.
“Except for Indera SC Futsal, the other team from Brunei, we have no knowledge of the strength of the four other opponents. I guess we will know once the tournament gets started,” said MS ABDB team manager Capt (Air Force) Awangku Muhammad Mufid on arrival yesterday.
“Right now we are just groping in the dark. But I guess they (opponents) are equally interested in knowing more about us. Our spirit is high and we look forward to playing here,” he said, adding that their first training session later in the evening will also give them feel of the atmosphere’ in the stadium.
Malaysia will be represented by M.A.C. FC, from Shah Alam, and Terengganu-based Gelombang FC. The other two teams are Mountbatten FC ‘A’ and ‘B’ from Singapore. The draw for the tournament places Indera SC Futsal, Mountbatten FC ‘B’ and M.A.C. FC in Group A while Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Gelombang FC and Mountbatten FC ‘A’ are drawn in Group B.
The champions of the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013 will receive RM20, 000 and the runners-up RM10, 000. The third and fourth-placed teams will pocket RM5, 000 and RM2, 000 respectively.
Red Bull Malaysia’s Executive Director, Jyn Wee, said with just before the start of the tournament, the excitement among fans in Kuala Terengganu is ‘building up’.
“Entrance is free as we want futsal fans to enjoy the weekend by watching six of the best teams in action. It is a not always that we get such opportunities and I hope the fans will make full use of this moment,” added Jyn.
Indera SC Futsal manager Aminuddin Nasuha, however, echoed that it would be unfair to single out any one team as the early favourites though Gelombang FC may have the home ground advantage with support from their fans.
“It’s an open game for all six teams. We have been looking towards the Red Bull Futsal Tri-Nations Cup 2013 for the last six months and only competed in several domestic tournaments on a small scale,” said Aminuddin, adding that seven of Indera SC Futsal players were recently called up for national team centralized training.
“But all seven players are here with us today. So I am happy with the progress of the team. All the players are in high spirit and confidence is important when we take to the court,” he added. The team captain is Mohammed Ulfi, who will join the squad on Thursday after completing his college exams.
For the record, Indera SC Futsal emerged champions in the Red Bull NFABD Futsal Champions League 2012 by defeating Royal Brunei Armed Forces Sports Council team in the final.
Fixtures – Friday (June 14): Indera SC v Mountbatten FC ‘B’ (9.30am); MS ABDB v Mountbatten FC ‘A’ (3pm); M.A.C. FC (Malaysia) v Mountbatten FC ‘B’ (6.30pm); Gelombang FC (Malaysia) v Mountbatten FC ‘A (8.30pm).
Saturday – June 15: M.A.C. FC (Malaysia) v Indera SC (10am); Gelombang FC v MS ABDB (12 noon); Third-Fourth placing (6.00pm); Final (8.30pm).