Caligdong calls for more support for the Azkals
Santino Honasan on Mar 25, 2015 11:08 AM
During the second leg of the Football for a Better Life program last March 23 , ABS-CBN Sports caught up with one of the program's coaches, former Azkals team captain Chieffy Caligdong, and he shared some of his thoughts on the current National Team that's gearing up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
“Maganda yung growth ng Azkals, nandun na tayo, nananalo na tayo sa region, sa Southeast Asia, diba? So dahan-dahan nakikita natin na nagpo-progess yung team natin, hindi lang natin mamadaliin..." Caligdong told ABS-CBN Sports.
Aside from praising the team, he also called out for more support for the Azkals.
"...we need more support from the government, also from the private sectors diba? Kailangan natin ng magandang suporta para makita natin, yung suporta natin, yung pinapag-paguran natin, nakikita ng team natin, kasi atin lahat yan eh. Kung saan man sila galing sa mundo, pero they represent the Philippines, isang country lang yung nirerepresent nila so we need to support them. Para naman sa atin yan, para sa pride ng bayan natin yan. “
Caligdong added that he's confident in the current lineup, and believes that they have the tools to go far in the World Cup Qualifiers.
"Oo naman, tiwala naman tayo doon, kasi pag nakuha ka sa Team Azkals, you are representing hundreds of millions of people, so it’s very hard na ma-select ka doon sa final 25, so nakikita ko naman, alam naman natin na yung heart nila sa game, sa tournament, sa team, nandoon naman all the way. Willing to serve sila sa bayan natin and sa flag natin.”
Furthermore, he said that almost anyone on the squad has the capabilites of stepping up as a leader.
“Halos naman lahat, kung sino naman yung ilalagay natin diyan, basta tiwala lang sa sarili, tiwala lang sa management, tiwala lang sa team, kahit sino naman can handle the team eh. Nakikita naman natin sa kanila na willing sila magdala ng team.”
For the former Azkals captain, more international exposure is key for the National Team as they prepare for bigger challenges in the upcoming tournaments
“Siguro dahan-dahan na more exposure, international exposure para hindi lang tayo adjust ng adjust. Yan yung ginagawa ng Philippine Football Federation natin, more competition, more friendly games, para kapag-dating natin sa proper tournament, yung adjustment nandoon na kaagad. “
Finally, when asked if misses suiting up for the country, he had this to say:
“Ah oo naman, pero siyempre tapos na yung time natin. We’ll give the chance doon sa mga younger, yung mga nag-aaspire na maging National Team player, we’ll give them the chance kasi habang mas bata sila, mas maganda yung exposure sa international, makapag-compete sila ng maayos. “
The Philippine Azkals are currently in Bahrain for a weeklong training camp, capped off by an International Friendly match against the nation's home-team on the 30th of March at 6:30 pm, Bahrain time. (11:30 pm, Manila time)