MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals will still have to rely on Filipino-foreign players to be competitive against teams from football-crazy countries.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami said the Filipino squad will still have to depend on these players while football remains in its infant stage in the Philippines.
“At this time, since there is yet to be a grassroots development program to be implemented by the [Philippine Football] Federation, we really have to rely on our Fil-foreigners. That has been a proven formula,” he said.
The Philippine Azkals, who made it into the 2010 Suzuki Cup semis, will be playing against Mongolia in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup this February.
The Philippine football squad that competed in the recent Suzuki Cup is composed of full-blooded Filipino players and Fil-foreign booters.
Among the Fil-foreign players in that line up were goalie Neil Etheridge and strikers Phil and James Younghusband.
Next month, 6 Fil-foreigners will be coming to the Philippines to try out for the team.
- · Patrick Herget
- · Patrick Hinrichsen
- · William Guerridon
- · Oliver Potschke
- · Jason Abot Sabio
- · Jerry Lucena
|Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami
Lucena, a Filipino-Danish, already plays professionally in Europe.
Palami, meanwhile, welcomed the addition of German coach Hans Michael Weiss to the team.
Weiss has replaced British Simon McMenemy, who mentored the Azkals on their way to the Suzuki Cup semis.
“Knowing that the expectations are high, we have to make sure that the coach that we're bringing in will be somebody who should be better and will bring the Azkals to greater heights,” said Palami.
“A coach such as Hans Weiss… could bring the results that we would want for the Azkals this year,” he added.
Palami earlier said they have not extended McMenemy’s contract because he has yet to get his Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) certification.
McMenemy’s contract expired in December last year. -- With a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN