Long Teng Cup to showcase young Azkals

by Camille B. Naredo, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 05 2011 11:38 AM | Updated as of Sep 06 2011 12:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The younger members of the Philippine Azkals will have a chance to show off their football skills in the upcoming Long Teng Cup in Taiwan.

The Azkals will be up against teams from Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the friendly tournament to be held from September 28 to October 4.

"They're focusing on the Under-23 team," said Azkals defender Anton del Rosario.

Del Rosario said that the Azkals will be joining the Long Teng Cup in preparation for November’s Southeast Asian Games, where Under-23 teams are fielded.

He added that the tournament will be vital in giving the younger players much needed experience.

"They can hack it, for sure. They just need the confidence and the experience. That's what we need for our younger players, the experience," del Rosario said.

He also expressed confidence that the Philippines will have a good showing in the Long Teng Cup.

"There's always a good chance, especially playing in a local tournament like this. It’s a very friendly tournament," said del Rosario.

Neil Etheridge, Rob Gier, Jerry Lucena, Paul Mulders and Stephan Schrock will not be joining the Azkals for the competition.

Etheridge and Schrock both have commitments to their football clubs in Europe.

But the Azkals will be reinforced by the arrival of 23-year-old Filipino-German goal keeper Ronald Mueller.

The Azkals will begin training for the Long Teng Cup in Bacolod next week.