Nothing wrong in fielding second-string team

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Nothing wrong in fielding second-string team

Emirates’ U19s coach Khalid Al Suwaidi made no apologies for fielding a second-string starting XI made up entirely of reserves and youths against Maradona’s Al Wasl side.

By Alex Leach

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Published: Sat 24 Sep 2011, 11:36 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:16 PM

The newly-promoted outfit from Ras Al-Khaimah are clearing concentrating all of their efforts on the forthcoming UAE Pro-League next month, hence the first-team squad were still preparing at a training camp abroad on Thursday evening.

In the absence of their more experienced and foreign professionals, Emirates’ youngsters rarely threatened Maradona’s men in a one-sided encounter and eventually went down to a 3-0 defeat. Al Suwaidi was unrepentant afterwards though, believing his own players had gained invaluable insight from an exercise that suited the entire club as a whole.

“I’d like to thank the management of Emirates for giving the youngsters a chance to play in this game,” he said.

“The management decided to give the first team more time to prepare for the UAE Pro-League at the training camp abroad, while also handing the U19s a chance to play in this match and gain some experience on the pitch at the same time. The Etisalat Cup isn’t a priority for us this season.”

That was all too clear at Al Ahli’s Rashid Stadium as Wasl carved out chance after chance before in-form Argentine midfielder Mariano Donda and Essa Ali (2) eventually hit the target in the second period.

“The youngsters in my side did a very good job and, for certain parts of the game, they were keeping up with Al Wasl and controlling the match,” Al Suwaidi added.

““Most of the players were given a chance to show their own capabilities and skills on the field and give it their best shot.

“There was no pressure on them; they were not requested to expressly go out and get the three points.

“There was a clear difference in quality between the two teams though as we had no foreign players in our squad and our oldest player was a 24-year-old defender. The rest of the players in the starting XI were between 19 and 20. The scoreline was reasonable in the circumstances.”

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