With the fasting month over, Indonesia’s Southeast Asian Games squad is set to begin its series of international warm-ups.
After a short break for Idul Fitri, the team returns to Yogyakarta on Sunday for a one-week training camp. The Under-23 team is scheduled to leave on Sept. 11 for Hong Kong, where it will play the host’s U-23 and senior team and North Korea.
“We planned to hold the training camp in Cilegon, Banten, but we had to drop that plan. We picked Yogyakarta for a training camp one week before we depart for Hong Kong,” Indonesia coach Rahmad Darmawan said.
The squad will also play a warm-up against local club Persiba Bantul on Sept. 9.
Team management announced the squad for Hong Kong on Monday. Goalkeeper Johan Anggakusuma of Persijap Jepara, defender Marcelino Mandagi and Joko Sidik of Bontang FC and Yunet Nardianto of Solo FC were dropped from the roster, which shrank to 24 players.
That is not the final squad, though, as Rahmad is waiting for three Persipura Jayapura players — defender Stevie Bonsapia, forward Titus Bonay and Lucas Mandowen — as well as Uruguay-based players Syamsir Alam and Zainal Haq.
With the fate of the Asean Football Federation U-23 Championship still uncertain, the PSSI registered Indonesia for the Son Ha Cup in Hanoi on Oct. 19-23.
However, Rahmad said he was not sold on the tournament.
“The tournament in Vietnam is not part of my program, so we may not take part in the event. It’s too close to the SEA Games and I don’t think we will benefit from it,” he said.
He said he wanted home friendlies in October to provide a better home atmosphere for the players.
“I really hope the boys can get more experience at home before playing in the SEA Games. I don’t know what will happen to the team if we play in Vietnam. In my opinion, it’s not a good move.”