By Alison ChinFollow @@AlisonChin9
Gathering together the brightest female talents from the university football scene, the Singapore Women's Football team are ready to take Laos by storm when they make their ASEAN University Games debut.
The squad, which was assembled in September, have endured a gruelling three months of training and competitions, including a successful stint in the FAS Women's Challenge Cup and weekly exhibition matches.
Speaking to ESPNSTAR.com, team manager Darren Chua admitted that it has been a hard road for the players, who have had to juggle end-of-semester examinations while competing, but he believed the squad were eager to pit themselves against their ASEAN peers.
"We must acknowledge that the trainings, participation in the FAS Challenge Cup and preparing for their current examinations have been taxing for the players," Chua shared.
"However, I believe all the players are still very enthusiastic and raring to go and experience their first regional University competition."
Coached by S. Selvakumar, the team exceeded all expectations by qualifying for the semi-finals of the recently concluded Women's Challenge Cup, only to be beaten by reigning Women's Premier League champions Tanjong Pagar United.
Chua conceded that their upcoming ASEAN University Games opponents will likely present the squad's toughest test yet, and he called on the ladies to turn in their finest performance.
"Football is a team sport and every member of the team is equally important. All the players are therefore required to bear the tactical responsibility given to them by the coach and exert their influence on the match accordingly," Chua stated.
"Whoever plays to their full potential over at Vientiane will be our stand-out player. Looking at the task at hand, we would need all our players to give their all and give their very best."
Team member Mainisah Bte Buang echoed Chua's sentiments, as she conveyed the excitement she felt at representing her country in the Games.
"I believe every single one of us carries the same responsibility as the aim of a team sport is just one; We train together, play together and win together as one team, " Mainisah pronounced.
"As a team, we are not worrying so much of the outcomes. We are more concerned on the process during the game and to execute what we have learned during training into the game. We will definitely give our utmost best as we are the first batch of representing the Combined Universities of Singapore Women Football team in AUG. "
Although the tournament in Vientiane marks the Women's Football team's first foray into the AUG arena, skipper Sharda Parvin believed the team have what it takes to come home with medals adorning their necks.
"I do think we have a good fair chance of being the top 3 teams for this year's AUG. Everyone wants the team to do well in AUG and we believe that records do not matter," she stated.
"What matters is the effort put in during those 90 minutes that we have for each game. If you have the heart and will to do it, we will win it."
The Singapore Women's Football team will begin their quest for glory at the 2012 ASEAN University Games with an opening fixture against Thailand on the 11th of December.