PETALING JAYA:Under-19 coach Bojan Hodak has to shape up his players as they prepare for the Asean Football Federation U-19 Championship in Indonesia.
Going into the team’s fifth day of centralised training at Wisma FAM at Kelana Jaya here, Hodak said the fitness level of the players was lacking especially after returning from the fasting month and Raya break.
“We still need a lot of work on their physical fitness, so the players will need to spend more time in the gym and on the field,” he said.
And with only five days of centralised training left before the team heads to Surabaya on June 29, Hodak believes time is short to get the players back into tip-top shape and has to constantly rotate his players during the tournament.
“We are going for a tournament that is quite demanding physically, so we will have to do a lot of rotations and pick the fittest players.”
But all is not doom and gloom and the Croation believes the team can meet their target of a semi-final spot in Indonesia.
“According to the group stages, our target should be a semi-final spot, but once we reach the knockout stages anything can happen.”
“But looking at quality, we are better than most teams, as long as we play our game.”
When asked if he had decided on the 23-member team, Hodak said he will only decide on the final day.
“We still have to see if there are any injuries and are waiting for five players who are still with their respective clubs to arrive on June 27.”
Hodak now has 26 players with him for centralised training camp which started on June 19 and will drop eight players before they fly off to Surabaya on June 29.
Malaysia are drawn in Group B with Myanmar, Timor Leste, Cambodia and Brunei in the AFF Under-19 Championship.
The tournament is from July 1-14.
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