National team probables hoping to make the cut for the March 12 home fixture against Macau in the first round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers face a stress test in today’s international friendly against a Singapore Selection squad at the Provincial capital Svay Rieng’s main stadium, which recently hosted the Hun Sen Cup.
Coach Lee Tae Hoon, whose second term contractual obligations with the Football Federation of Cambodia, officially ends this June after the SEA Games in Singapore, has reportedly made it clear to the players every one will have to earn their colours by proving their mettle on the pitch.
The South Korean strategist believes it is crucially important for team dynamics before the Macau match.
If some players felt a sense of entitlement they were wrong and each one had to stand up to the performance tests and that was in essence his clear message to his squad as the team takes on the visitors who are also pursuing their own team building agenda
Singapore’s coach Richard Bok, who has four S-League Championships and three RHB Singapore Cup triumphs under his belt, has a stock of young and talented players who needs grooming before the City State heads for next month’s AFC under-23 Championship qualifiers which also doubles up as the Brazil Olympics qualifiers.
“This is a very important game for me and the players. I can get a clear sense of our strengths and weaknesses and work on them for our next big assignment,” three-time coach of the Year award winner Richard Bok said.
“Despite the loss in a friendly to Syria earlier this month, our players showed good fighting spirit and never quite gave up against a technically and physically strong side in that game from which we have learnt a lot,’’ he said.
Some of the key players in the Singapore selection squad are Naiim Ishak, Ammirul Emmran, Nur Ridho, J Dhukilan and Sim Tech Yi from S League team Courts Young Lions and Sufianto Salleh from Home United. Goalkeeper Zharfan Rohaizad represents Lions XII.