Muscat: The Oman national football team will gear up for the prestigious AFC Asian Cup next year with three external camps and four friendly matches, the head coach Pim Verbeek announced at a press conference on Wednesday. Coach Verbeek revealed the preparations at the Seeb Stadium in the presence of Maqbool al Balushi, team manager and Juma al Kaabi, the new national team director. “Our plan was to start preparation for Asian Cup from the month of August. However, we postponed our schedule due to league that will start in the same month. I will follow up with all players in remaining rounds of league. Last camp in UAE will decide the final squad and it is the crucial camp for team’s preparation,” the Dutchman said.
Oman will play around six confirmed friendly matches against Jordan, Ecuador, Yemen, Kyrgyzstan, Australia and Thailand. Also, there are other friendly matches to be announced later. Pim Verbeek’s battalion will start their first external camp in Jordan from September 1 to 12 and it includes a friendly match against Jordan on September 11. Later, national team will travel to Qatar to have another external camp during October 7 to 16. Oman will also play two friendly matches against Yemen, one of which will be on October 14 while second match date is not confirmed yet. Also, Oman will take on Ecuador in a friendly match on October 16.
In November, the ‘Red Warriors’ will have an internal camp in Bausher for one week period and during November 12 to 20. This internal camp will include Oman’s friendly match against Kyrgyzstan on November 18. The second internal camp will be organised from December 7 to 22. Then, national team will travel to UAE on December 22 to have a short external camp from December 23 to January 3 prior beginning of Asian championship. In UAE camp, it is planned that national team will have some friendly matches. The first match will be against Australia on December 30 while second match with Thailand is on January 2.