MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals have called up Phil and James Younghusband to participate in their 10-day training camp in the Middle East, which starts October 7.
This, after the Younghusband brothers were controversially left out of the Azkals roster for the recently concluded Philippine Football Peace Cup.
In a statement, Azkals team manager Dan Palami said the management decided to include the Younghusbands "after careful consideration."
"Both siblings remain assets to the Azkals and remain part of the team," Palami said.
The Middle East camp is still part of the Azkals' preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November, and will include friendly matches with Bahrain on October 12 and Kuwait on October 16.
The Younghusbands were left out of the Peace Cup roster after the Azkals management questioned their full commitment to the squad. There were also issues regarding the brothers' contract demands, which the Philippine Football Federation could not afford.
But Palami said that "as a team, we take this time to bridge differences as we work towards a common goal: bringing honor and pride to the country."
Philippine football is still glowing in the aftermath of their historic run in the Peace Cup. The Azkals went undefeated in the four-nation tournament en route to their first international football title in 99 years.
The Peace Cup also saw the rise of several new heroes for the Azkals, including Golden Boot winner Denis Wolf and the promising Demit Omphroy and OJ Porteria.
"Despite this unprecedented feat, we are well aware that we still have so much work to do," Palami said. "We want to build on the success of our title victory and gleam for it an important lesson that was most evident in the Azkals' winning form: teamwork works!"
"The training camp should be a good venue to hone a stronger team with an even better chemistry on the pitch," he added.
The Azkals management have already communicated with the United Football League's Loyola Meralco Sparks, asking for the Younghusbands release from the squad for the scheduled training camp.
Also receiving call-ups for the Middle East camp are brothers Angel and Juani Guirado, goal-keepers Roland Muller and Eduard Sacapano, as well as veteran campaigners Chieffy Caligdong and Ian Araneta.
Below is the full list of the players called up to the Middle East camp:
1. Marwin Angeles
2. Ian Araneta
3. Misagh Bahadoran
4. Dennis Cagara
5. Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong
6. Jeffrey Christiaens
7. Ref Cuaresma
8. Jason De Jong
9. Rob Gier
10. Anto Gonzales
11. Angel Guirado
12. Juani Guirado
13. Ray Jonsson
14. Jerry Lucena
15. Nestorio Margarse
16. Carli de Murga
17. Roland Muller
18. Paul Mulders
19. Demit Omphroy
20. OJ Porterioa
21. Patrick Reichelt
22. Eduard Sacapano
23. Matthew Uy
24. Denis Wolf
25. James Younghusband
26. Phil Younghusband