Azkals begin World Cup Qualifiers Preparations in Bahrain
Santino Honasan on Mar 17, 2015 11:03 AM
The Philippine Azkals’ road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers begins later this month as they head to Bahrain for a training camp, followed by an International Friendly against the host-nation’s national team at the end of the month.
According to Azkals Head Coach Thomas Dooley, who spoke to the media last Monday, training camp begins on the 24th, after they get released from their respective clubs on the 23rd.
Team Manager Dan Palami sees the training camp as a way to get the team familiarized with each other, since there will be new faces coming in.
“That’s the reason why we are embarking on a training camp, our first training camp in Bahrain to prepare the team for the World Cup qualifiers. This is the first step, get the team to know each other because we have new players coming in and they are going to be familiar with each other as well as the new system that the coaching plans to implement.” Palami told the media last Monday.
Some of the new faces that Palami mentioned includes Fil-Australians Iain Ramsay and Stephan Palla, Fil-Spanish Alvaro Silva, and Fil-Brit Luke Woodland. Palami also mentioned that he had invited a couple more names that have yet to be confirmed.
Dooley and Palami also confirmed a few returnees like keeper Roland Muller and Javier Patino, as well as keeper Neil Etheridge, who makes his return to the Azkals squad following a well-documented spat with coach Dooley.
The Philippine Football Federation posted the official list of players called up for the training camp on their website last Monday as well.
The squad will be composed of Amani Aguinaldo, Kenshiro Daniels, Ruben Doctora, Patrick Deyto, Neil Etheridge, Rob Gier, Simon Greatwich, Juani Guirado, Mark Hartmann, Jerry Lucena, Roland Muller, Satoshi Otomo, Manny Ott, OJ Porteria, Patrick Reichelt, Simone Rota, Daisuke Sato, Alvaro Silva, Martin Steuble , Dennis Villanueva, James Younghusband, Phil Younghusband, and Javier Patino.
“Expect to see some new faces, some new talents, some exciting talents, and it’s gonna be exciting. We’ll be playing against some bigger and better teams during the World Cup Qualifiers, so it’s important that we have the best players available.” Azkals leading scorer Phil Younghusband told ABS-CBN Sports.