Hong Kong head coach Sebastiao Araujo yesterday lamented the skill and fitness levels of Hong Kong's under-23 players, saying they needed to go back to basics. Araujo put part of the blame for the players' shortfalls on the lack of facilities, adding that the required levels of skill and fitness should have been attained when they were in the under-16 squad. 'Their skills need to be improved a lot. We will need some time to work on the fundamental things and need to train with the ball, like how to control the ball, how to pass the ball and run with the ball,' said the Brazilian at the squad's first training session at the Sports Institute yesterday. 'One of the reasons may be the clubs' lack of facilities to train the players better. 'All the players can run well but running is too easy. The problem is with the ball. 'That's why we only did basic exercises at training. 'And they must improve their fitness. They should have trained well when they were younger. They should have started with the under-16 squad. 'I don't think about their positions at this stage. All the players, including the goalkeepers, have to do the exercises and practise.' Although Araujo fell short of saying who should be responsible for the unsatisfactory quality of the players, it is understood to relate to the training systems applied to Hong Kong teams. Most players in the 31-man squad graduated from the institute where they had spent at least two years in specialised training. They are all currently with the First Division clubs. 'They are all young players. We need to control them well,' Araujo added. 'They are not like the experienced players who know what they can do. Young players don't know how to save energy. Usually they become tired faster than the experienced players. I have to teach them how to do it all over again.' The squad will compete in the 2000 Sydney Olympics qualifiers next spring and there are approximately six months for Araujo to raise the team's standards. 'Six months is not enough. We should have started six months ago,' said Araujo. The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) has yet to decide whether to send the full Hong Kong team or the under-23 team to December's Asian Games in Bangkok. Peter Velappan, the general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation, had earlier urged the participating countries to field their under-23 teams in the Asian Games. 'It is a very good idea because it is a very good opportunity to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers,' Araujo said. 'I treat the under-23 squad as if they are going to the Asian Games. 'When the HKFA makes the decision in mid-October, both the under-23 and the full Hong Kong team will be ready. It could be a mixture of both teams.' As four of the First Division teams are out of town on training camps, 17 players showed up at yesterday's training. Among them were Rangers midfielder Cheung Yiu-lun and his younger brother Yiu-chung, a 19-year-old who plays for Sing Tao. Yiu-lun, 20, hopes he can play with his brother in the full Hong Kong team. 'It is always nice to have a brother in the same team so we can help each other,' he said. The brothers, who are both vegetarians, were in the same under-16 team in the Lion City Cup three years ago. 'I like the way Araujo trains us. It is interesting. We will work as hard as we can and hopefully we will get some good results.'