China’s U20 National Youth Team will play South Korea in the quarter-finals of this year’s U20 Asian Cup to compete for a place in the U20 World Cup in Indonesia. On the morning of 10th local time, the team headed to Tashkent State Transport University for a recovery training session. At the end of the training session, Behram Abduweli was interviewed. Unfortunately, he will not play because he has accumulated two yellow cards, “but I believe my teammates can play well in this game.” Said Abduweli.
Q: You must be very happy that the team has won the right to play in the tournament, right?
Abduweli: I’m also grateful to the coaching staff for believing in me and giving me the chance to start all three games and do my best to play with my teammates.
Q: How do you feel after playing the three matches?
Abduweli: First of all, the teamwork between my teammates is better than before. We didn’t play that well on the field, but in the end we came out on top. Our goal going into the tournament was to win the game and win the result, and we are happy ourselves that we achieved our goal and feel like we have improved.
Q: What do you think has helped you the most since you arrived at the national youth team?
Abduweli: The biggest help is in the defensive area. Before I played as a striker or winger, I was relatively bad at defending. Since I came to the team, the coaching staff has been asking me to play in defence and to do a good job of defending on the wing, and now I feel that I am doing a good job of defending on the wing.
Q: You are 1.9m tall, so you should be more active in the middle, but the team has put you on the wing, even going up and down like a wing-back. Do you think it’s a bit more demanding for you?
Abduweli: Yes, because that’s our tactical reason, the two wingers have to run more, come down when defending and go up immediately when attacking. The position the head coach has given me is shifted so that I can move around on the wing, so I have to carry out the coach’s intentions and requirements.
Q: What did you play when you were at the club?
Abduweli: I played as a centre forward in the club.
Q: The team had to play South Korea next. But you can’t play because you have accumulated two yellow cards, do you feel sorry?
Abduweli: I feel so sorry because I didn’t think I would get a yellow card for that chase back against Kyrgyzstan and then I couldn’t play. Actually, I would have liked to play that game. I’ll just have to cheer the team from the stands in the next game.
Q: South Korea is no doubt the stronger team, do you think there is any way to take them down?
Abduweli: The first thing we have to do is to defend well, and try to win the game on penalties.
Q: You are on the list of the Chinese National Olympic Team to train in Croatia, and as a “jumper” you will have the opportunity to play in the Olympic qualifiers. How did you think about it?
Abduweli: Yes, I skipped a grade to play for the U23 team! To be honest, I didn’t know about it beforehand and then suddenly the list came out and I was happy to see my name on it. I thought I should go and take this opportunity and wait for the U20 Asian Cup to be over and follow the National Olympics to train abroad and train well to be able to play in the Olympics.
Q: You played in the Chinese B League last year with Ji’nan Xingzhou and are now back in Shandong Taishan, are you sure you will be registered for the first team in the new season?
Abduweli: I don’t know yet, because Ji’nan Xingzhou is still contacting me, hoping I can go back on loan for another year to help them. I’d actually like to go out and work in League One for another year. It would naturally be nice to be able to sign up for the first team at Taishan, but it’s more important to play more games.