VIENTIANE, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Lao young female football players will compete in a tough group at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U15 Girls Championship to be held in Lao capital Vientiane on May 8-20.
Laos is in Group A, which also comprises Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. Meanwhile, Group B consists of Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore.
"It will be very challenging for our team as the others in Group A are very strong, but a ball is a ball and anything can happen in 90 minutes, so we will do our best," head coach of Lao U15 team Vongmisay Soubouakham said.
It would be good for the players to take part in an international tournament to learn more about the importance of teamwork and the spirit of the game. Their scores and the points they earned would be of secondary importance, Vongmisay was quoted by Lao local daily Vientiane Times on Tuesday.
The 23 players to take part in the AFC U15 Girls Championship will be named this week. Vongmisay said as many as 33 young female footballers across the country had come to Vientiane to hone their skills and are undergoing two months of training in Vientiane.
"This week we will select the 23 best players for the tournament. Most of them are good and I'd like to keep all of them but the rule is 23 players per team, so I'll have to drop 10 of the 33 who are training," he explained.
The team is ready to play host at the tournament, he added, but need to improve their tactics and strategy on the pitch. "But in general everything's looking good now because we have been training up these girls since last year so we are hopeful of reaching the semifinal," coach Vongmisay said.
The tournament begins on May 8 when Laos faces Myanmar. On May 10 Laos will take on Malaysia, and will play Thailand on May 14, and Vietnam on May 16.