MANILA, Philippines – Team manager Dan Palami said two more friendly games are being set up for the Philippine Azkals before the team heads to the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers this March.
A rusty Azkals squad pulled off a 1-0 win during their tune-up against Myanmar ahead of the qualifiers.
“This is the first of hopefully three friendlies prior to the Challenge Cup. This is basically to test the waters -- how are we after the long break, how are we after the Suzuki Cup,” Palami explained.
“I could see we still have a lot to work on and we're right on schedule insofar as preparation s are concerned,” he added.
Palami said they hope they could set up the friendlies in the Philippines to let the squad play in front of the home crowd.
He added that they want more local talent in their pool of players to give the coaching staff more options during the qualifiers.
“The intention is to build more talent, other players, especially those based locally, to train with the Azkals and come up with a bigger local pool,” said Palami.
The Azkals are clustered with Turkmenistan, Cambodia and Brunei in the Challenge Cup Group E.
The Group E qualifiers will take place in Manila starting March 22.