MANILA, Philippines – Hoping to get their first win under newly-installed German-American coach Thomas Dooley, the Philippine National Men’s Football Team bared its lineup for their upcoming training camp in Qatar this month.
The Azkals, who will fly to the Qatari capital on April 8, will be bannered by Loyola Meralco’s Phil and James Younghusband, Ascot United’s Rob Gier and Chris Greatwich of Kaya FC, among others, as they continue their build-up ahead of the all-important Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Maldives this May.
The winner of the eight-nation tournament will take the last remaining slot in the 2015 Asian Cup, joining Group D alongside Asian heavyweights Japan, Jordan, and Iraq.
The Azkals’ Doha, Qatar training camp will be highlighted by friendly matches against Nepal on April 11 and Qatari side Al Ahli SC on April 14. The Philippines have also made arrangements for a rematch with Malaysia later this month in Cebu City.
Long-time Philippine regulars Jeff Chriistiaens, Ed Sacapano, Jason de Jong, Juan Luis Guirado, Mark Hartmann and Patrick Reichelt, also make the squad as well as newly-baptized Azkals Ruben Doctora, Andrew Liauw, Martin Steuble, and Simone Rota.
Looking beyond 2014, Dooley also included promising youngsters in the lineup in Amani Aguinaldo, Nick O’Donnell, and Kenshiro Daniels.
A couple of first timers are also make it to the 22-man roster in Curt Dizon and Charles Pettys. Completing the cast are returnees Anton del Rosario, Simon Greatwich, and Nate Burkey.
Notably absent are Green Archers United keeper Patrick Deyto – who, according to reports, begged off to attend to a family event – and Misagh Bahadoran who is currently injured. First team regulars OJ Porteria and Marwin Angeles were also dropped from the squad. –Rappler.com