Tardy hits out at SEA Games’ organisers

Singapore under-22 head coach Richard Tardy was less than impressed by the Southeast Asian 2017 organisers after a series of last-minute notifications for his team. 

Singapore open their SEA Games campaign against Myanmar on Monday, in what could be their toughest opponent in the round-robin. Hosts Malaysia then await the Lions two days later, meaning Lions face their biggest two group competitors as early as possible.

Arriving late for the tournament’s opener pre-match press conference, Tardy did not hold back on what he thought of the organisers after being informed of the event at the last minute.

The Singaporean media were also not informed of the press conference.

Thailand team manager Watanya Wongopasi was in the Group B press conference moments later and he too explained that coach Worrawoot Srimaka did not attend the session because of the late notice given.

“I’m am sorry for being late. I was only informed of the press conference at the last minute … well organised,” Tardy quipped.

“It was the same yesterday (Saturday). We were supposed to train at 5pm but it changed to 7pm suddenly. The schedule changed two weeks ago and we were supposed to play a day later instead of Monday.”

Turning his attention back to the game at hand, Tardy was unfazed by the order of matches.

Myanmar, who have named a squad largely consisting of players that featured in the Under-20 World Cup in 2015, will test Singapore’s credentials in the opening match at Selayang Stadium.

“There is nothing positive nor negative with us playing Myanmar and Malaysia in back-to-back matches. We just need to play our best in every match,” said Tardy.

“My players are very young … half the squad are either 19 or 20, so it’s not going to be easy. There is a lot of pressure and expectations are high. I want my players to not think about it too much.”

His opposite number Gerd Zeise, who is also the Myanmar senior team coach, was also expecting a tough match against Tardy’s men.

“The first match is always the hardest … it will be a big challenge to qualify and we have to show respect to our opponents every time we take the field.”

Main Photo: FAS