BY JOSEF T. RAMOS CORRESPONDENT
GERMAN Philippine men’s football team head coach Hans Michael Weiss said he will put strict policy on Azkals’ training at the University of Makati to avoid distractions. Weiss, a 43-year-old former Rwanda national team mentor, told The Manila Times that discipline is very important in forming a strong team and he wants to implement it firmly starting this week.
“It’s time to get rid of people who prioritized other business not related to the team,” said Weiss. “Right now, I already know where I’m dealing with. It was not so easy dealing with them first but now it’s easy for me. The players are very cooperative,” he added.
He also mentioned that the influx of local and Filipino-foreign players from different nations makes it too difficult for him too select the players who will be in the final 25 since most players are very well talented and promising.
At the same time, Weiss said he is waiting for the arrival of 6’3” goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and other players who are still in their respective countries.
“I’m also hoping that we could top the Group Stage after we qualify. We really need to work hard,” said Weiss.
Weiss, a part of the German Football Association’s assistance to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), said he conducted tryouts for the national team that will compete in the 26th Southeast Asian Games in November in Jakarta, Indonesia.
For the upcoming 2011 first leg qualifying stage of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup on February 9 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, the PFF has already submitted a 31-man roster to the AFC.
The Azkals will battle the Mongolians in the first leg then will fly to Mongolia in Ulan Bator on March 15 for the second leg of the qualifying stage.
Filipino-Germans Stephan Schrock, Jan Patrick Hinrichsen and Oliver Potschke and Filipino-Danish Jerry Lucena are still awaiting their Philippine passports. If they fail to get their passport on time, they will not suit up against Mongolia.
Other members besides the 11-man core are Germany-based Patrick Herget and William Espinosa, who are now practicing with the squad and United States-based Jason Sabio.