FAT boss confident of four-gold sweep

FAT boss confident of four-gold sweep

Thailand's SEA Games team players train in Malaysia yesterday.
Thailand's SEA Games team players train in Malaysia yesterday.

While coach Worrawoot Srimakha spent the day telling his men to be wary of Indonesia's counter-attacks in tomorrow's SEA Games opener, national football chief Somyot Poompanmuang claims Thailand will sweep the board in Kuala Lumpur.

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Somyot said: "I believe that the Thai football and futsal players will bring home all four gold medals.

"The FAT has been performing its duties to the best of its abilities, and I believe the coaches, team managers and players will do their best as well when their respective competitions get under way.

"There is no fixed formula in sports. We are good, but our opponents are also good. We are strong, but so are our opponents. We are ready, so are they. The day we are on the pitch, we have to do our best. That is the only formula that always works.

"The most important factor in the competition would be the support of the Thai fans for the team. This can have a strong bearing on winning and losing the tournaments -- the men and women's football, and the men and women's futsal events.

"If we can have all these things, I believe that the players can win all four gold medals as the gift to the Thai people."

Yesterday, the men's team had only one training session in the morning in the Malaysian capital.

Thailand, who are in the tough Group B with Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor Leste and Vietnam, are the two-time defending champions.

They begin their quest for the third straight men's football gold against Indonesia tomorrow.

The top two sides from both groups will make it to the semi-finals.

Worrawoot focused on attacking and defending games during the training session and repeatedly warned the War Elephants to be on guard against the Indonesian counter-attacks at all time.

It was the second day for the Thai U22 team to train in Malaysia.

Worrawoot said: "Today we concentrated on attacking and defending. Yesterday [on Saturday] the players looked tired after arriving here in the morning, so we only had a light session.

"It appears to me that the players are OK with the weather here and most of them seem fit."

The Thai men's team coach added that the coaching staff had carefully studied the tapes of all the sides in Group B, but added: "I am sure the others must have done their research on our squad as well."

He said: "Every team in this event is dangerous.

"The Indonesian forwards have good speed and their counter-attacking game is very good.

"We are here as the defending champions, but we must respect every opponent in the tournament."

About their Group B opener against Indonesia, Worrawoot said: "The first game in any tournament is always difficult. We must get a point from this game. Every team in the SEA Games will be thinking on the same lines.

"At this moment, we do not have any major injury worries. Our skipper, Chenrop Samphaodi, who has been nursing an injury, can now train with the team and it is a very good news for us."

After yesterday's team managers' meeting, Waranya Wongopasi said in case two or more teams are equal on points at the end of the first round, goal difference will decide the qualifiers for the semi-finals.

"As far as I can see, all teams have prepared well for the Games and they all look confident. We cannot underestimate any team at all," she said.

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