The Indonesian side traveled a day earlier to Singapore to familiarise with the synthetic field at the Jalan Besar Stadium, which will be used for the AFC Cup tie against Warriors
While Warriors FC were slogging it out against Hougang United in the S.League on Sunday, their next AFC Cup opponents, Indonesian side Semen Padang, were already in Singapore as they decided to make a trip a day earlier to accustom themselves to the synthetic field at Jalan Besar Stadium.
The team has sought permission from the hosts to train on Monday and Tuesday morning at the Jalan Besar Stadium and coach Jafri Sastra is hoping that the extra day in Singapore will enable the team to get used to the turf before their match with the Warriors on April 24, and claim the points needed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition as group winners.
“Hopefully the players quickly adapt to the synthetic pitch as all this while, we have been training on natural grass,” said Jafri.
“It is not easy to play on this type of pitch and that is why it may cause some difficulties to our players in controlling the ball. The movement of the ball is faster and different when playing on natural grass.”
While Jafri is careful not to be overconfident ahead of the crucial clash, the team's technical director Suhatman Imam however believes they will be able to secure victory over Warriors.
“We will try our best and will be fielding a strong starting line-up and will not take this as an easy game, hopefully our players are able to put on a solid performance and we are optimistic of getting the points,” said Jafri
“We are capable of getting maximum points and be the group winners; barring any injuries, those that started against Bontang FC are most likely to start the match,” added Suhatman
Semen Padang are currently sitting comfortably at the summit of Group E with 10 points, four ahead of second-placed Kitchee SC of Hong Kong, and a win against Warriors will see the Indonesians end the group stage campaign as group winners.
Warriors on the other hand are rooted to the bottom of the table and need wins from their remaining two matches in the group to keep their hopes of qualifying to the next round alive.
Kitchee will face Churchill Brothers of India on the same day and should the former register a win over the latter and Warriors fail to win against Padang, the Indonesian and Hong Kong side will qualify for the knock-out stage.