Philippine Azkals back with high spirits, high morale ahead of important matches

Santino Honasan on Mar 21, 2018 05:59 PM
Philippine Azkals back with high spirits, high morale
“During this camp, everyone seems to have more energy, everyone seems to be laughing more, everyone seems to be smiling more, everyone seems to be more confident,”

New year, fresh start.

Heading into an important pair or matches, the Philippine Azkals have been refreshed and rejuvenated, according to team captain Phil Younghusband.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference for their International Friendly match against Fiji on Thursday, March 22nd, Younghusband shared that there’s an overall upbeat feeling among the members of the men’s senior national football team.

“I think definitely, being with the players three or four times now, spirits are high, everyone’s happy to be with each other.”

The Azkals’ match against Fiji will serve as a tuneup for arguably the most important match in Philippine football history, their match against Tajikistan in the final matchday of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday, March 27th.

A win over Tajikistan will ensure the Azkals’ entry into the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, a first in Philippine football.

When the Azkals saw action in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in early November of 2017, ‘fresh’ wouldn’t be an accurate way to describe the players.

The Azkal’s last three AFC Asian Cup Qualifier matches happened within a span of three months, and majority of the National Team callups also had club duties to attend to.

Simply put, the players were quite tired.

“I think coach mentioned earlier, I think this time around, compared to last year, we had a busier schedule last year and players were doing a lot of travelling, so when we were together, you could sense an air of tiredness,” Younghusband added.

Now, the Azkals are coming into their next pair of matches coming off a four-month break and with a lighter schedule. Already, Younghusband sees a change in the atmosphere.

“During this camp, everyone seems to have more energy, everyone seems to be laughing more, everyone seems to be smiling more, everyone seems to be more confident,”

“I think going into the next two games, against Fiji and against Tajikistan, the players’ morale is very high, it’s good to see.” Younghusband added.

 

Catch the Azkals as they take on Fiji in an International Friendly Match on Thursday, March 22nd, LIVE on LIGA channel 86 and LIGA HD channel 183. Kickoff is at 7:30 PM.

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