For the first time, I took part in a pre-match press conference of the national team at the Amara Hotel (above), prior to their match against Uzbekistan on 2nd June.
Where the panel seat...
While the media getting ready...
Nice setting near the poolside at the sixth-level of the hotel (although, the only grouse was the constant traffic movement beside hotel, that noise generated by those vehicles tend to distort when the coaches were saying something.)
"As the Uzbek league played its (league) championship match from 26 to 28th May, the national team can't conduct its centralized training till 28th.” said Rauf Inileyev (above, the man in green is the media officer and translator for the visiting team), coach of the Uzbekistan national team, who arrived in Singapore only yesterday.
"Thus, there isn't enough time to prepare the team against Singapore, but this is not the main problem." (which he refer to aspects like having came from a region in a different time-zone as compare to ours, the climate etc.)
"We tried to gather information on the Singapore from various sources and I'm impressed with what I saw when Singapore played against Saudi Arabia and Lebanon" added the Uzbek's coach, through his translator.
"It's good to be at this stage of the tournament (the qualifier) and we shall see how far we can go (from here)." said Radojko “Raddy” Avramović (above with skipper Indra Sahdan Daud on his right), coach of the Singapore national team.
"Uzbekistan is a quality team and they proven themselves when they played against the Saudis."
"If you looked at how we played against Bahrain (on last Wednesday), there's similarity between the two of them, though Uzbekistan are more disciplined, more organized and I'm expecting a more technical game from them."
"And it's in our game plan to score and by creating the chances in the game and hope we don't miss any of them"
"Monday game is always an obstacle (for gate takings), I hope the AFC (or FIFA he meant?) will look into this (issue) as timing (of the game) is important (to decided whether) fans can come and see the team play." lamented coach Raddy.
"We got to this stage because of the fans, and we are really looking forward to tomorrow's game" said Singapore skipper Indra Sahdan Daud.
"And I hope the fans will come down to support us and in a way for us to repay them." concluded Indra, who”ll be missing tomorrow's fixture due to an injury.
MORE PICTURES FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE
Both coaches being interviewed separately, in-details, by various media outlet.