PETALING JAYA: It’ll be an experience to savour as Perak get set for their debut in the AFC Champions League.
Perak coach Mehmet Durakovic has urged his players, especially youngsters Firdaus Saiyadi and Ahmad Khairil Anuar, to cherish playing on the big stage when they clash with Hong Kong Club Kitchee at the Perak Stadium today.
“Perak have played in the AFC Cup but this is the team’s biggest stage. I’ve played and coached in this tournament but most of the players in Perak have never played on this stage,” he said.
“Kitchee is an experienced side with some exciting foreign talents but we know them well and we’ve the home advantage.
“We can do well if we can overcome our nervousness. Players like Fie (Firdaus) and Beto (Ahmad Khairil) should learn from this experience,” said Durakovic.
The Hong Kong side’s Brazilian star Lucas Silva said the hot weather in Perak would not be a problem.
“Brazil is like Malaysia too. So, the weather is not a problem for me. We’re confident about our chances and our aim is to play the Korean side in the playoff stage,” said Silva.
Kitchee head coach Alex Chu Chi Kwong said: “We’ve played in Malaysia three years ago when we played Kelantan in the AFC Cup. This Perak team are fast and we have to keep a close eye on their number nine (Gilmar Filho).
“He is tall, strong and holds the ball very well. It will be a good match for the fans but I want my team to get into the next stage,” he said.
The winners play South Korean club Ulsan Hyundai in the playoff stage.