Fujiwara not using fatigue as an excuse
Friday, September 8, 2017
Photo is from Brunei's game against Vietnam on Tuesday. Courtesy of Myanmar Football Federation.
NATIONAL Under-18 coach Takao Fujiwara does not want to use Brunei’s tight schedule at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Under-18 Championship as an excuse for any poor results.
Brunei face hosts Myanmar at 7.30pm (Brunei time) tomorrow in their third Group B match in six days.
Fujiwara’s men started their campaign in Yangon, Myanmar, with a 3-2 win against the Philippines on Tuesday and lost 8-1 loss to Vietnam in their second game on Thursday.
Myanmar, meanwhile, have only played one game – a 2-1 loss to Indonesia in their opener on Tuesday.
Brunei had to work hard to come from behind and beat the technically superior Philippines on Tuesday, and Fujiwara admitted the resulting fatigue played a part in their loss to Vietnam two days later.
However, he said his players will have to put thoughts of tired legs aside when they meet Myanmar tomorrow.
“In the game against Vietnam, the players were tired after 70 minutes as we just played the Philippines on Tuesday – so we only had one day (Wednesday) to rest,” said Fujiwara yesterday.
“For Vietnam, it was their first match of the tournament.
“It is the same situation for the next game as Myanmar will have rested for three days, so many of their players will be fresh.
“But we are Bruneians. We must be strong and try to get some points,” he stressed.
Tomorrow’s other Group B game will see Vietnam face the Philippines.
Before reaching Yangon last Friday (September 1st), the team were in Japan from August 20th for a football exchange program organised by the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Japan Football Association – where they played against Japan League youth teams and a high school team.
The program was aimed at strengthening Asian football teams and facilitating further interaction between ASEAN countries and Japan, and during their stay there, the team trained at the renowned J-GREEN SAKAI (Sakai National Football Training Center) in Osaka.
According to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Pre-Games Training Camps Online Guide, J-GREEN SAKAI is one of Japan’s largest athletic training centres for top level athletes and has five natural grass fields, 11 artificial turf fields and eight futsal fields.
Fujiwara said that Brunei needs to play more high-level games, such as that in Japan and their current campaign in Myanmar, to improve.
“In Japan, the training camp teams were all playing at this level – even normal high school teams,” he said.
“Even though we lost to Vietnam, I am proud of my players as we scored against our opponents. We always need to play this kind of high-intensity games.
“I am sure if we do, Brunei will be able to put up better fights against strong countries.”