The conference was held immediately after the team managers’ meeting and was attended by more than 25 members of the local press corps and two journalists from abroad.
Philippines will open their campaign against Timor Leste tomorrow while hosts Cambodia will be up against Laos.
Brunei will have the day off.
None of the teams were willing to assess their opponents’ strength or weaknesses preferring instead to focus on their own game plan and their need to have a positive start to the tournament.
All the teams taking part are of almost equal strength with several making their preparations for this qualifier abroad – signaling their seriousness and their desire to win.
At stake would be the only two available slots for the tournament proper which will be held in December in Indonesia and Thailand.
“On behalf of the local football family and also the government of Cambodia, I welcome everyone to Phnom Penh. I hope for a successful tournament in very friendly atmosphere. Cambodia is a very young country and we are trying to learn more in hosting big international events. With that, I would like to thank the Asean football family and WSG (World Sport Group) for all their support.” - His Excellency General Sao Sokha, President of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC)“
I know that the all the teams here are well-prepared and they want to win the two available slots to the next round (of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008). But I hope that while they will play hard, they should also uphold ‘Fair Play’ above all else.” - Nugraha Besoes, Head of Delegation, Asean Football Federation (AFF)
“We played two games in Bangkok before coming here where we also had several days of training. We won one match and lost once – both games were against professional club sides. Although we have a few players playing abroad, I don’t think that it will be a big advantage against Timor Leste.” - Alberto Honasan, technical consultant of the Philippines FA
“We have been in training for the last two months. Some players are new but we hope that we can do well in this tournament. We played against Philippines in 2004 and I know that there have been a lot of changes to both teams. I am looking for a positive start so we will see what happens at the end of the game (as far as the results are concerned).” - Pedro Almeida, head coach of Timor Leste
“We have had some three months of preparation and before this tournament, we went to South Korea to play eight matches. We played against mostly university teams where we won one match, draw one game and lost six times. I know that the results have not been very good but the mentality of the players have been positive and we will look to win our first game.” - Dary Bouy, assistant coach of Cambodia
“Before coming to Phnom Penh, we were training at one of the professional clubs in Vietnam (at Hong An Gia Lai). This team is being prepared for the SEA Games which Laos will be hosting next year. The team may be young but I think that they have been shaping up very well. We need more exposure for sure but I think that we can be strong for this meet.” Niwat Klaysang, team manager of Laos
“I am very happy to join this tournament. I took over this team two months ago. We did not go anywhere for matches or training where we have been at home in Bandar Seri Begawan. But I’m looking forward to the matches. And not playing tomorrow will give me chance to look at the other teams and how we can prepare ourselves.” -Vjeran Simunic, head coach of Brunei Darussalam
(All matches at the National Olympic Stadium)
17 OCT 2008: Philippines vs Timor Leste (1400hrs) / Cambodia vs Laos (1600hrs)
19 OCT 2008: Timor Leste vs Cambodia (1400hrs) / Brunei vs Philippines (1600hrs)
21 OCT 2008: Philippines vs Laos (1400hrs) / Timor Leste vs Brunei (1600hrs)
23 OCT 2008: Laos vs Brunei (1400hrs) / Cambodia vs Philippines (1600hrs)
25 OCT 2008: Brunei vs Cambodia (1400hrs)/ Laos vs Timor Leste (1600hrs)
PIC: The team representatives from Timor Leste, the Philippines, Laos and Brunei at the pre-match Press Conference this morning at the Nagaworld. (aseanfootball)