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Rajevac to give youth a shot at Dragons

Rajevac to give youth a shot at Dragons

FOOTBALL: Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac said yesterday (June 1) that he would give chances to rising stars to play against China in a warm-up match at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium today (June 2).

Football
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 2 June 2018, 10:18AM


Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac said yesterday (June 1) that he would give chances to rising stars to play against China in a warm-up match at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium today (June 2). Photo: via Bangkok Post

Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac said yesterday (June 1) that he would give chances to rising stars to play against China in a warm-up match at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium today (June 2). Photo: via Bangkok Post

The match kicks off at 6:30pm and will be shown live on Thai Rath TV (32).

Serbia’s Rajevac should know something about Chinese football as he once coached Beijing Guoan.

China are coached by Italian Marcello Lippi who guided his country to victory in the 2006 World Cup and Rajevac said it’s an honour to face a world-class coach.

“China are one of the leading teams in Asia and have one of the best coaches in the world in Marcello Lippi,” Rajevac told a press conference.

“I worked at Beijing Guoan for three years. During that time China reached the World Cup finals for the first time at the 2002 tournament. They are now going in the right direction with academies to create young stars.

“I also give importance to young players. I always give chances to young players and we will see several young stars play against China to prove themselves.”

The War Elephants beat China 5-1 in a warm-up game in Hefei in 2013 in one of the country’s most impressive wins.

But Thailand midfielder Thitiphan Puangjan told yesterday’s press conference that things have changed greatly since that match.

“We have a number of newcomers and they all try to show their potential during training to get a spot in the starting line-up,” he said.

Thailand’s first 11 are likely to feature overseas-based players – striker Teerasil Dangda, midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin and goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan.

Lippi said his team were well-prepared for the match after beating Myanmar 1-0 in a recent warm-up game.

“A couple of players got injured during the match against Myanmar. I have called up young players to the team and they have shown progress.”

China captain Zheng Zi will make his 100th appearance for the Dragons, Lippi said.

Guangzhou Evergrande’s Zheng said: “It will be my 100th match for China and I will do my best.

“This is an important period for Chinese football as we are trying to build a new team.”

The 73rd-ranked East Asians and No.122 Thailand have both won twice in their last five meetings with China winning their last encounter 3-0 in 2014.

Earlier, Thailand defender Manuel Bihr said the War Elephants were looking forward to meeting the Chinese and their coach Lippi.

“The Thai national team is now at a high standard. Our coach is very experienced. And there are players returning from Japan [Teerasil and Chanathip] and Belgium [Kawin]. So I think we can win against the Chinese,” he said.

“Lippi is a great coach and I respect him. So I look forward to meeting with China and see what he can do,” added the Thai defender.

Read original story here.

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