PETALING JAYA: Playing five matches in 10 days can be taxing for any team, but Kedah coach Aidil Sharin said it is needed before their all-important Asian Champions League (ACL) preliminary round two match in Alor Setar on Jan 21.
To prepare for the new Super League season and also for the qualifying game against Hong Kong club Tai Po in Alor Setar, the team have gone to Cambodia to play friendly matches against several local clubs in Phnom Penh.
They kicked off their tour by beating Visakha 1-0 on Jan 7 and played Nagaworld yesterday. Their other matches are against Boeung Ket (today), Angkor Tiger (Sunday) and Phnom Penh Crown (Jan 14).
Aidil wants to test out all 27 players in the team and ensure that everyone gets a chance to play in Cambodia.
“Five games in 10 days is tough, but I am not too worried because we brought all 27 players. The aim is to gain match fitness and assess our plays and combinations, ” said the Singaporean.
“Now is the best time for trial and error before our game against Tai Po. We will look to get results, but what is more important for me is to see the players grasping our tactical rhythm.”
Kedah, who are the reigning FA Cup champions, have made a massive statement of intent by signing several stars for the Super League campaign.
Up front, they will be combining last year’s top scorer Kpah Sherman and former Terengganu livewire Kipre Tchetche, and in midfield, they have roped in Filipino international playmaker Amin Nazari and wing wizard Hadin Azman.
They have also added depth to their defence by signing Malaysian international Irfan Zakaria and lanky centreback Zulkhairi Zulkeply.
The Cambodia stint is also meant to help build the team’s chemistry as Aidil wants the new players to gel quickly and also understand his tactics.
“In Cambodia, we want to play good football. No injuries, just enjoying the game and gaining minutes.
“I obviously demand 100% commitment, but at the same, I am mindful of players getting injured. The aim is to be really prepared for Tai Po.”
The winner of the match against Tai Po, will face South Korea’s FC Seoul at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Jan 28.
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