Perak’s football players undergoing training at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu yesterday. Perak will meet Terengganu today in their Group A match. Pic: HAIRUL ANUAR ABD RAHIM.
SELANGOR coach Dollah Salleh believes it is premature to install anyone as the favourite for the football gold medal at the Malaysia Games when play begins today in Kuala Terengganu.
"People think of us as one of the favourites as we have players from the Super League side. The names may make us look good on paper but you must bear in mind that most of them were actually reserves and President's Cup players," Dollah said at the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu training ground in Gong Badak yesterday.
Selangor open their Group D campaign with an evening clash against Kelantan while Kedah, another of the early favourites, meet Sabah in the same group.
Defending champions Terengganu, who are looking to reach the final for the third successive Games, hope to get off to a winning start against Perak in Group A, while Negri Sembilan face Malacca in their quest for gold in Group C.
"We cannot look too far ahead. We must be focused on our first opponents. We've got a tough group, including Kedah, so we have to tread with caution," added Dollah, who also handles the senior side.
The football tournament kicks off two days ahead of the opening ceremony but has already run into trouble.
One football pitch at the Gong Badak Sports Complex is not ready and has forced the re-scheduling of some matches.
Only the final will be held at the main stadium, the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak on June 8, with all other matches being held at the open fields in Gong Badak and the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.
With the preliminary matches scheduled for the early morning and early evening, the weather, which has been hot and humid in recent days in Kuala Terengganu, could also have a bearing on the matches.
FIXTURES -- Today: Group A: Terengganu v Perak (Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, 4.45pm); Group B: Kedah v Sabah (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field A, 4.45pm); Selangor v Kelantan (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field B, 4.45pm); Group C: Negri Sembilan v Malacca (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field A, 8am); Perlis v Federal Territories (Gong Badak Sports Complex Field B, 8am); Group D: Brunei v Johor (Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, 8.45pm); Sarawak v Penang (Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, 8am).