The 3rd edition of the U23 AFF Championship, which hosted the best teams from all over Southeast Asia, took place between February 14th and 26th in Cambodia.
With their sights set on preparation for the U20 Asian Championship being held in 2023 and whose qualifying matches begin in September of this year, the Thai National Team decided to participate in the AFF Championship U23 with a very young team. 26 of the 28 selected players were under 20 years old, with the squad selected for the final match averaging an age of 17.9 years.
Nevertheless, the same players who will compete in the qualifying matches for the U20 Asian Championship accumulated playing time together, gained experience and internalized the game model and tactics proposed by Ekkono, with the aim of reaching the Asian Championship as prepared as possible.
Despite the vast difference in age, the Thai National Team showed a great performance throughout the tournament, both collectively, achieving a meritorious classification for the final, and individually, with the 19-year-old Thai Teerasak Poephimaicon being the top scorer in the tournament despite not being able to play the final due to COVID19.
Ultimately, Vietnam was the winner of the AFF Championship U23 after beating the Thai National Team in the final by 1 goal to 0.
After the conclusion of the AFF Championship U23, the Football Association of Thailand continues to develop the youth categories. Now, it is the U17 National Team's turn, which is starting a training camp with the objective of preparing for the next competition.