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Seven players to watch at Thailand 2019

Kuala Lumpur: With the 2019 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship just around the corner, we look at seven players whose form in the competition can drive their teams to excel in Chonburi.

Eight of Asia's biggest sides will do battle in Chonburi and amongst their ranks are some top players hoping to impress in the regional showpiece.

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Kim Kyong-yong (DPR Korea)

Leading the charge for DPR Korea is Kim Kyong-yong, who was the 2017 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship MVP and Top Scorer with nine goals.

Kim showed her goal scoring prowess in DPR Korea’s title triumph in Chonburi, scoring five goals in their opener against Bangladesh, a brace against Australia and would later guide her team to the final and scored the second goal against Korea Republic.

WIth the bulk of the squad coming from Naegohyang Women's Football Club, Kim will be in good company as she will have club teammate Ri Su-gyong, who scored five goals in the 2017 edition, and the duo will certainly cause problems for the opposition.

Ploychompoo Somnonk (Thailand)

Somnonk was outstanding during qualifying as Thailand finished on top of their group in Round 1 - with 21 goals scored and only one conceded.

The 17-year-old defender, who plays for Khon Kaen Sports School, contributed two goals to Thailand’s goal haul in the Qualifiers and will be aiming for a similar performance in Chonburi as the hosts bid for a first title.

Mary Fowler and Princess Ibini (Australia)

Australia’s best performance in the competition was a third place finish in 2006 and the Young Matildas will not be short of goal scoring options with Adelaide United star Mary Fowler and Sydney United’s Princess Ibini (pictured above) among their ranks.

Fowler and Ibini both scored seven goals each during Australia’s qualifying campaign and duo are set to feature again for the Young Matildas in Chonburi.

Regarded as one of the most versatile players of her generation, 17-year-old Fowler, along with Ibini, who is two years older, will be a force to be reckoned with.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Ngan (Vietnam)

Vietnam have never made it past the quarter-finals in the five times they have played in the Continental competition and inspirational captain Tuyet Ngan will tasked to guide her teammates.

Tuyet Ngan finished joint top scorer during Vietnam’s qualifying campaign with 10 goals to her name and the forward is definitely one to watch in Chonburi.

Shen Menglu and Han Xuan (China PR)

Having featured in all nine of the previous AFC U-19 Women’s Championships, China PR will be aiming to bag the coveted title, ending their 13-year wait since 2006.

Coming to the fore for the East Asians are the formidable duo Shen Menglu and Han Xuan, who helped China PR win the 2019 CFA Women's Youth Tournament.

China PR’s strength lies in their attack and on their day, Shen Menglu and Han Xuan can unlock any defence.

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