Some players can graduate to U-19 squad, says UAE coach

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Some players can graduate to U-19 squad, says UAE coach

Amir,picked out a few players who have it in them to make it to the Asian Under-19 tournament.

By James Jose

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Published: Fri 25 Oct 2013, 12:39 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:08 PM

UAE fans packed the stands to show their support to the team. — AFP

Nerves could have had the final say in the end, but the UAE coach Rashid Amir said that the experience of playing on a stage as big as this one would have done a world of good for his lads and added that there are a few players who are ready to make the transition to the Under-19 level.

The UAE lost all their three Group A games in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. They were unlucky to go down to Honduras 2-1 before being swamped by three-time champions Brazil 6-1. The Emiratis then went down 2-0 to Slovakia in their final group game on Wednesday night. “The players were nervous coming in to the World Cup and performing in front of their fans,” Amir said.

“The players gave their best, the UAE FA did all they could and our fans stood behind us throughout our matches. So, it is a bit disappointing that we underperformed,” he added. The young lads from the UAE don’t play often on a world stage as big as this one. They have only four players who have experience of playing in other age-group competitions — in the AFC and the Gulf Cup Under-16.

“We can take the experience as a positive. The players got to know the level of the competition and got to know the level of the players who play on such a stage,” said Amir.

Amir, who has been coaching for more than 20 years, picked out a few players who have it in them to make it to the Asian Under-19 tournament.

The AFC Under-19 Championship will be held in Myanmar from October 5 to 22 next year. The UAE have already qualified for the competition. The top four teams will qualify for the 2015 FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be held in New Zealand.

“There are a few players from this age group who can be recommended to the squad preparing for next year’s AFC Under-19 Championship. These are a few positives that we can take forward from this competition,” he added.

As for the Under-17 competition, Amir took the blame on himself.

“I take the blame because it was me who chose the players, me who prepared them, me who made all the game plans. It was our last game and we did everything we could do. We even had four attackers, yet we fell short of achieving our objectives,” he said.

“We had trained a lot and prepared well. We achieved a lot of good results in the lead-up to this championship. It still puzzles me why we couldn’t play true to our potential. I will have to give a lot of thought before I hand over my report to the FA,” he added.Amir was not concerned about his future and left it for the UAE FA to decide.

“Whether the FA will keep me as the U-17 coach or not is up to them to decide. But I am prepared to accept any decision that they make,” Amir said.

Meanwhile, Slovakia coach Ladislav Pecko said that they were the better team on the night.

“We were a better team and created a lot of chances. We showed how strong we were mentally when we had to play an entire second half with 10 players,” said Pecko.

Pecko said that they got better and better with each match after losing 6-1 to Brazil in their first game.

“We drew the second game against Honduras and we played much better tonight. We had to win this game to prolong our stay and the players did a fantastic job to achieve it,” he said.

That fantastic job sees the players earning a two-day break to take in the sights of Abu Dhabi as well as Dubai.

“The boys deserve a break. We are in a beautiful country and city, and we would like to visit another city until we know if we are in the round of 16. We feel we have done enough to go beyond the group stage. But we still have to wait for the results of the other games,” Pecko said.

Four best third-place teams still have a chance to qualify for the next round.

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