BRISBANE – By ERIC SAMUEL: The Harimau Muda A boys will be off to Slovakia next for a six-month playing tour against top Corgon Liga (Division One) teams from March to August.
National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee said the boys would have a good run-up ahead of the defence of their SEA Games gold in Myanmar (Dec 11-22).
“We can’t get the same high intensity matches back home. We have benefited from our previous stints in Slovakia, playing against physically stronger opponents,” said Kim Swee, whose Harimau Muda boys will return home after their four-match playing tour of Brisbane today.
The Harimau Muda’s final warm-up match on Wednesday was marred by controversy. The team were supposed to play against A-League side Brisbane Roar FC but ended up playing against an Under-19 Queensland Academy of Sports team. The Harimau Muda won 7-0.
Earlier, the Malaysians had defeated Premier League (APL) sides Gold Coast Sharks 5-1 and Brisbane Lions 2-1 and lost to Brisbane Olympics Fc 2-1.
Kim Swee said they would not compromise on the quality of the sparring matches in Slovakia.
“We have an agreement with our counterparts in Slovakia that we will play 15 matches against Corgon Liga sides,” he said.
“And the teams should field at least 80% of their first 11 players.”
Just before leaving for Slovakia, the Harimau Muda side will play against the Myanmar national team on Feb 22 in Yangon and against the Slovakia Under-21 side on March 23.
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