Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Singapore Prepare for Uzbekistan

SINGAPORE, 16 September 2008: Coach Kageyama Masanaga named a 21-man squad for the AFC U-16 Championship which is set to begin on 4 October in Uzbekistan.

They will be flying to Japan on 18 September for a two week training camp before heading off to Tashkent for the AFC U-16 Championship where they will be in Group A together with Bahrain, Iran and host Uzbekistan.

Singapore will be based in the Shizuoka Prefecture for their training camp where they will play three friendly games.

Singapore’s first game will be against the Prefecture’s Championship winning High School team. They will then take on the Japan U-16 team, which has also qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship, on 24 September. Their last game will be against the J.League’s Shonan Bellmare’s U18 team on 27 September.

“This will be a great experience for the boys as they prepare for the AFC U-16 Championship. The boys need the exposure of playing against bigger, faster opponents and going to Japan will help us achieve that,” said Coach Masanaga.

“The weather conditions in Japan will be closer to what that is in Uzbekistan. They boys will get used to staying in a hotel and playing games every few days. This will help them get into a proper tournament mindset,” added Masanaga.

This is the first time that a Singapore team has qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship and the semi-finalists for this year’s tournament will qualify for the finals of the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in Nigeria.

Japan won the previous Championship which was held in Singapore in 2006.

Singapore will leave Japan for Tashkent on 30 September and will play the host on 4 October. They will play Bahrain in the second match on 6 October and their last group match will be against Iran on 8 October 2008.

“This will be a tough tournament as the level of opposition is very high. The boys have prepared to the best of their abilities. They have given their all in training and they are looking forward to playing in the finals.”

“I took over the team early this year and since then, they have shown a lot of improvement. They are much more confident now and are excited to take part in these finals,” said Masanaga.

Apart from this training camp in Japan, the boys also took part in the AFF Youth Championships which was held in Jakarta in July.

Teams from Australia, Bahrain, Malaysia and Indonesia took part in the AFF Youth Championship where all the teams, including Singapore, used the tournament as preparation for the AFC U-16 Championship.

Training Matches in Japan

Singapore U-16 vs Tokai University Syoyo High School
20 September 2008

Singapore U-16 vs Japan U-16
24 September 2008

Singapore U-16 vs Shonan Bellmare U-18
27 September 2008

AFC U-16 Championship in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan vs Singapore
4 October 2008
Pakhtakor Stadium

Singapore vs Bahrain
6 October 2008
Pakhtakor Stadium

Singapore vs Iran
8 October 2008
MHSK Stadium

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