Young aces strengthen Azkals' arsenal for Asian Cup
MANILA, Philippines – After a short stint in Bahrain, the Philippine Azkals will head to Bangladesh for the 2018 Bangabandhu Gold Cup with a squad featuring new faces.
Jarvey Gayoso, a former UAAP MVP and a three-time best striker from Ateneo, was among the new breed of Azkals who were called up for the Bangladesh tournament slated from October 1 to 12.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami also named Fil-Swiss midfielder John Patrick Strauss from FC Zurich as one of the new Fil-foreigner aces who will debut for the Philippine team.
"We’re still in the process of [selecting] the final lineup, but it looks good," said Palami.
"Now it has become a problem of who will be able to go [to Suzuki Cup and Asian Cup], which means that there is a bigger pool of talents that we’ll be choosing from."
While the up and coming players will see action in Bangladesh, the veteran players will also take part in the Qatar training camp from October 8 to 15 and will face Oman in a friendly on October 13.
According to Palami, James Younghusband will also join the team in Qatar after missing the Bahrain camp due to injury.
New Azkals head coach Scott Cooper already got to work with national team mainstays like Phil Younghusband and Neil Etheridge during the Bahrain camp in September.
During the FIFA International "A" Friendly against Bahrain, the Nationals looked headed for victory but the host team brought the game to a draw by scoring at death.
"I think we only had two training sessions before the actual game. The results were good, I can tell that the players understood what’s supposed to be done," said Palami.
Despite the positive developments, Cooper and the rest of the Azkals know that they still have a lot of work to do before their first major tournament, the AFF Suzuki Cup in November. – Rappler.com