We will make Maldives proud says Darren Stewart

Maldives National Coach Darren Stewart has assured that Maldives national team will make the country proud as they are gearing up to face Palestine in the  upcoming AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers match.

The Australian coach has also labeled team’s preparations “outstanding” despite   criticism from the public for not arranging a competitive friendly game ahead of this crucial encounter.

Speaking to maldivesoccer.com, Coach Stewart expressed his satisfaction over the players’ performance in the trainings and believes the boys will produce a good performance. 

“The preparation is outstanding. We have been training since Sunday and up until today I was telling the boys that I could not ask them one percent extra from any player in terms of effort and their spirit and that’s what we are building”.

The average age of the 29 men squad formed for the match against Palestine is 26.65 years while Riham Abdul Gani of Eagles is the youngest and Mohamed Rasheed of New Radiant the eldest with 20 and 32 years respectively. The 29 men squad will be reduced before the match.

Maldives will face a tough task in beating Palestine at home, without Ali Ashfaq and Imran Mohamed. Despite absence of these two key figures; Stewart is confident over the players and is hoping for a good result. 

“I am not afraid to face any team with this character and the spirit of the boys”. 

“These boys will make Maldives proud”.

Maldives has played against Palestine twice before where the last meeting was ended goalless, and the first meeting ended in favor for Palestine with a score margin of two goals to nil. 

Maldives has neither recorded a win against Palestine nor score a goal against Palestine yet.

One Response

  1. Being passionate and ready to hit the ground running is one thing but it is quite another to summon the match fitness and stamina if you are without competitive football for three weeks. Of cause you need to show great character and spirit to mount a credible challenge against a team of Palestine’s calibre and you need your preparation to be of the highest order. The problem is this being such an important match and a new keeper and all, we don’t know how this team will gel. Yes, you may be capable of an upset. If the opposition is far superior you can employ tactics that are ultra-defensive and try to hit on the counter. A chance may come your way. But for all those things there are just 90 minutes. To sort out the weakness. To find the match sharpness. The confidence and bravery. Above all, a match winning goal. Will we be able to find it, let alone the rustiness!

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