18 January 2011

Cebuano makes final 13 list in Azkal tryouts

YOUNG Cebuano is one step closer to becoming an official Azkal.

Of the 50 who tried out for the national football team, only 13 made the first cut and homegrown athlete Paolo Pascual was one of them.

Pascual established himself well during the first day of the tryouts last Jan. 17 at the University of Makati grounds.

An all-out performance by the 19-year-old star from the University of San Carlos impressed the Azkals’ coaching staff. He received positive feedback from the coaches, who admired his composure during the game.

“He did well. The new coach wants him to be trained as a goal keeper,” said Dan Palami, team manager of the Azkals.

The team manager also confirmed that a goal-keeping coach from Germany will soon arrive to train the keepers.

“It feels great (to be shortlisted) but no expectations yet. It was a tough training but also a lot of fun,” Pascual said.

There will be a series of activities and trainings to test the endurance and overall performance of players during the rest of the tryout session, which ends today.

“If he is consistent, there is a possibility that he will be part of the training pool,” said Palami, adding that Pascual only needs to continue his A-game to keep his chances high.

The three-day tryouts was handled by the Azkals’ new coach Hanz Michael Weiss.

A mix of local and Fil-foreign players from United States, Italy and Germany completed the line-up of hopefuls.

Palami also said the first day of tryouts went well, with Weiss observing the players closely.

“The coach said there was talent but the players need to work on cohesion and conditioning,” he said.

The trials are also part of their preparation for the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia later this year. The Azkals are looking for recruits for the senior team of 25 players and another 25 for the Under-23 team.

Meanwhile, the Azkals are doubling their efforts for their most awaited home-and-away match for the Asian Football Confederation Cup showdown against Mongolia at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod on Feb. 9.

Negotiations for the television broadcast of the Bacolod game is on its final stages with a major broadcasting company.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2011.


  1. Does anybody know who else made the 13 who made the first cut?

  2. No mention of a Scot player. Has McMahon been cut?

  3. If they mention 13 players they should be able to print the names. I think its lousy journalism if you mention 13 players and not put the names. If you cant verify, dont even mention it. Its a form of sensationalism for people to read the article. They dont even mention if these 13 are shoe-ins or still may be cut or if there is a 2nd cut. Are they part of the senior team or the U-23 team?

  4. Hey Jay,

    I read in another article that they are now planning a nationwide club tournament with 2 clubs each from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the UFL going for the national championship. As I predicted, corporate sponsorship in the form of Smart Global will be financing this tournament. They don't have a name for it yet but I think it should be called the Philippine Open Cup since it is open to any club all over the country who will be competing for the 2 spots in each respective region. It is similar to the US Open Cup here in the US, and the FA cup in England.

  5. We could play a guessing game on who the other 13 are. Two of the Germans are Mark Drinkuth and Patrick Herget who I know flew in from Germany for the trial and possibly Gino Pavone from Italy(but born in the Philippines) who has already played some tune up games in the past.

  6. I read about the money Smart is pouring in (I think it was in the Phil Star) and I commented on how other big corporations like Globe (Ayala), San Miguel and Alaska should start putting regional teams together. I think the PFF should be knocking at their doors to promote it. I just hope they have though about it and have developed a business plan. Also, the PFF information group (If there is one) is hopefully rebuilding the PFF website. With so much interest even in the tryouts it would be good to know how they will select the team and list the players who are trying out. That would leave a feel good effect for everyone, even the schools and clubs these tryouts are coming from. There so many gimmicks they can do to promote the team and football in general while the interest is so high, I hope Araneta assigns someone good to handle this.

  7. I think we can indeed play a guessing game here...pls check Ilonggo united fb - training day 3... but again these are just pictures we can still wait for the official statement from the pff... mcmahon, pascual are in the recent pictures...

  8. Indeed we now have 4 players identified in Herget, Drinkuth, Pascual and McMahon. The 2 black players from Sudan, the Ilhabib brothers, who are in the process of naturalization, who were initially practicing with them the previous week, are no longer in the picture. There are 2 older players incl. one with the beard, who look a little overweight seems to have made the first cut. Hope those 2 overweight older players get cut soon or we might get some snickers from the opposing team.

  9. @jay:

    lousy journalism? sensationalism? did you ever consider that that article was published on a community paper specifically and mainly for a cebuano audience? context is what you need, not the 12 names.

  10. A thousand thanks to cjeagle for being the only man who seems to ken (know) where the monkey sleeps [a Scottish expression for being very wise]. The PFF should hire you immediately.

    It's unbelievable that the official PFF website should be off-air at a time when Azkal popularity is booming and people all over the world want to know what's going on at the trials.
    Salamat po CJ.

  11. I have heard from reliable sources that the final list of players for the game in Feb. is already finish. And the only 2 Fil-German players who is in the Bundesliga(highly qualified) is not included (Stephan Schrock/Patrick Reichelt). I mean the PFF should really try their best to get and organise things for these two. Among all the Fil-German football players often mention in the media these two are the highest in their league. If Our PFF are doing their best to get players from the provincial league they should also do their best to get these contract players from the 2 Federal league. Am sure the new trainer knows that if a player already plays in the 2nd Federal/Regional League,, he must be better than the one they called coming from Berzirk Liga or these Verbands liga. They should try to get the best we can if we want to win and improve.

  12. Take it easy guys. We are playing Mongolia which is ranked 186 in the FIFA rankinigs compared to our 153. We could just as easily have used the previous lineup in the Suzuki cup and win this game easily.

    A lot of these players are on teams who are either fighting for spots for promotion and or are trying to prevent being relegated. In general they don't always like lending players out bec. of the danger of injury to this players while being on international duty. They are also under no obligation to lend them out in tournaments which are not part of the FIFA calendar like the AFC Challenge Cup.

    So it is always better to build goodwill with these clubs by not always calling them up whenever we have games. After all, they are the ones paying the players salaries and expect their players to help them achieve promotion which in the long run will help our players develop as well by being exposed to better competition. In Schrock's case, he is one of the best players on the team and is essential to their success.

    When the time comes for the more important events and tournaments we can cash on that goodwill and get this players for longer periods rather than the minimum they are obligated to do.

    This club vs country conflict happens all the time in World football and we need to navigate this very carefully so as not to burn bridges.

    Most of the players we have called up are very young and still have a lot of developing to do so it is quite possible that they will rise up the ladder so it is better to captie them now.

    As for for person from Scotland, your welcome. Unfortunately the previous administration left a lot undone. I have already brought up the topic of a website last Dec. to Mr. Nierras and I believe he is working on it. If you want more information try to get on facebook and check the PFF and Azkals fan page as there are plenty of info there.

  13. To annonymous who disagrees with me and is pointing out context instead the importance of the 12 names. I see your point that it was in Cebu Star and yes maybe the author was pointing out that a Cebuano made the cut. Although in this day and age where articles such as these would eventually go out in the internet (Cebu star does have a web site), is anything still considered community based? That is debatable. What is not is the quality of the article. You can not mention details without substantiating it otherwise it may be called hearsay. Any editor worth his salt would not edit out that information if it was available. He was already there, talking to the coaching staff, why didnt he get all 13 names and the format of selection? Dont tell me no one in Cebu would want to know who the other 12 players are so they know the kind of company he was in. If for example the other names included Youngusband and Borromeo (again are they part of the try outs or what? the article doesnt say) this would even be of greater interest and pride for Cebuanos. Finally, look at the feedback here, everybody is guessing. he was in a position to get an official statement and he blew it.

    So I stick to my assessment of the article. Lousy at worst, and incomplete at best. Sorry if you feel that way but I call it the way I see it.

  14. The PFF website has been a disgrace ever since the time of Martinez. Blogs like this and the defunct pinoysoccer.com were getting more hits and interest (kudos to Johnny as most of the time his blogspot comes up first before the PFF). Unfortunately there are still many organizations who still do not understand the power of the internet. Whoever is handling public information at the PFF (if there is such an animal) has not been doing a good job. Where they can use this as a direct link to the world, they have chosen to use facebook. It doesnt take much to put some information on the website while your still thinking of the overall concept. What they have now is still pretty embarrassing considering how other federations use websites but its better than having it "under construction". Well i guess its a question of resources but i am sure Araneta had a team behind them and this should have been a priority especially because of the new football revolution.

  15. Johnny, how come my response to that anonymous guy regarding the quality of this press release was not published? I dont believe it was a good article even for a community paper that the author pulled a figure of 13 who made the cut and not decide to print who they were. Its just careless journalism when you have the coach right there who can officially give you the 13 names. Even Cebuanos would want know who Pascual is in company with so I dont buy that its the context we need to look at. Anyway, I dont want to make a big deal out of it as it digresses but if those names were published we would have a more interesting discussion here rather have to guess who made the cut.

  16. Acc. to the inquirer, it has now been trimmed to 11 shortlisted players. Apparently the tryout team drew the Azkals 2-2 in a scrimmage, so Coach Weiss has asked for more time to chooose the players.

  17. Simon Greatwich and William Guerridon have also joined the team.

  18. Jay,

    I didn't realize that you were still posting on the Weiss thread. I responded back. Look up Earnie Stewart, Thomas Dooley, David Regis, and Mikkel Diskerud as a few examples of dual citizens playing for the US senior team.

    Also my dream of a decentralized professional league seems to be slowly taking hold. I am really hoping that our local players might finally have a league to call their own and make a living playing football.

  19. Is Pascual the first Cebuano to make it to the national team ifever he's officially chosen to play for U-23?

  20. Add Islam Ahmed a Fil Egyptian who was born in the US to the shortlisted 11.

  21. To Jay,, this is Anonymus 11

    I really agree with you,, this lousy journalism. The PFF should stop giving out names of Fil-foreigners who they said will come to the Philippines to join the team. Actually some of the players mentioned don't even know they are coming. The PFF people should concentrate on the improving Fotball and not more on lousy publicity. A lot of what they are releasing in the media are not true. Continue on your comments Jay,, the PFF still has a lot to learn. If they continue bahaving like this we will never be in the level of at least Japan or Korea when it comes to football. The PFF are more of talking,, no wonder we are one of the oldest nation who started football,, but still we have never improve. It's the wrong approached to handle things, and the unwillingness to learn new things from European Football. Our is mostly more of SHOW.

  22. I agree Anonymous 11. Football deserves better coverage. More incisive and not merely to be sensational so more readers will follow it just for the heck of it. let's hope someone can actually give us some intelligent stories, good insight and honest reporting.

  23. who are the 13 players ??????? just mentioned one ????