31 players called up for Azkals training on February 22-24

Thirty-one of the best local football players in the country have been called up by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) for the national team training on February 22-24. This is ahead of the preparations for next month's AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines – In preparation for next month’s AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has called up thirty-one of the best local football players in the country to make up the national pool for the team’s training on February 22 to 24.

Included in the list are Azkals mainstays Phil and James Younghuband of the Loyola Meralco Sparks and national team skipper Chieffy Caligdong of Green Archers United. Also part of the pool are Global playmakers including the Angeles twins, Jeff Christiaens, Carli de Murga, Misagh Bahadoran, Matthew Uy, Patrick Reichelt and Denis Wolf. Midfielder Chris Greatwich and 18-year-old sensation OJ Porteria will represent the Kaya contingent. Army keeper Ed Sacapano and Loyola mainstay Ref Cuaresma will be the men between the sticks.

Air Force striker Ian Araneta and Army men Roel Gener and Boogie Margarse were also called up to join the national team training after being left out in the 22-man squad list that competed in the Suzuki Cup. The three made a come back in the friendly against Myanmar early this month but only Araneta played as a substitute.

Other Azkals mainstays include Jason de Jong of Stallions Sta. Lucia and Pachanga-Diliman midfielder Anto Gonzales.

Interestingly, the training squad list is also teeming with young and fresh faces coming from the university system with the likes of Patrick Deyto who just finished his season with the De La Salle booters, Jesus Melliza of the Far Eastern University and Raymark Fernandez of UP.

An exciting prospect as well is the inclusion of some of the local league standouts including Tating Pasilan and Arnie Pasinabo of GAU and brilliant Pachanga-Diliman midfielder OJ Clarino.

This will give Coach Weiss a wider pool of players to choose from come the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers next month. The stakes are higher, the competition is tougher and the inclusion of these young fresh faces will surely boost the chances of the Azkals in qualifying for the regional tournament:

Here is the full list:

1. AGUINALDO, Amani Manuel – Far Eastern University
2. ANGELES, Marvin Janwer – Global FC
3. ANGELES, Marwin Janver – Global FC
4. ARANETA, Ian – Philippine Air Force FC
5. BAHADORAN, Misagh – Global FC
6. CALIGDONG, Emelio – Green Archers United-Globe FC
7. CHRISTIAENS, Jeffrey – Global FC
8. CLARIÑO, Mario Javier – Pachanga-Diliman FC
9. CUARESMA, Ref Delany – Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
10. DE JONG, Jason Nicolas Maria – Stallion Sta. Lucia FC
11. DEYTO, Patrick Phillip – Green Archers United-Globe FC
12. FERNANDEZ, Raymark Kenneth – University of the Philippines
13. GENER, Roel – Philippine Army FC
14. GONZALES, Andres Crisanto – Pachanga-Diliman FC
15. GREATWICH, Christopher Robert – Kaya FC
16. HUGO, Jake – Green Archers United-Globe FC
17. LEUNG, Jerome Stefan – Pachanga-Diliman FC
18. MARGARSE, Nestorio Jr. – Philippine Army FC
19. MARTINEZ DE MURGA, Carlos Alberto – Global FC
20. MELLIZA, Jesus Joaquin – Far Eastern University
21. PASILAN, Floriano Jr. – Green Archers United-Globe FC
22. PASINABO, Arnie Jr. – Green Archers United-Globe FC
23. PORTERIA, Jose Elmer – Kaya FC
24. REICHELT, Patrick – Global FC
25. SACAPAÑO, Eduard – Philippine Army FC
26. SANTOS, Bruno Gabriel – Stallion Sta. Lucia FC
27. SEGUNIAL, Deo – University of the Philippines
28. UY, Matthew Christopher – Global FC
29. WOLF, Denis – Global FC
30. YOUNGHUSBAND, James Joseph – Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
31. YOUNGHUSBAND, Philip James – Loyola Meralco Sparks FC

The Azkals will face Cambodia, Brunei and Turkmenistan in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Rizal Memorial Stadium on March 22-26.

The top team in the group will qualify in the main tournament in Maldives in 2014. – Rappler.com