by Peter Atencio
FILIPINO-Danish football pro Jerry Lucena is upbeat of his coming stint in the Philippines as a member of the Azkals, the country’s national football squad, which will face Mongolia at the start of the home-and-away series on Feb. 9 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.
In an overseas telephone interview, the 30-year-old Lucena told Manila Standard that he’s now getting ready to go to Manila and is hoping that all his papers, including his Philippine passport, will be in order in time for the tournament.
“Yes, hopefully all the paper works will be in order before any of this can happen,” said Lucena, whose father Ruben hails from Iriga City in Camarines Sur. His mom, Elise, is a native of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Lucena is one of three professional soccer players directly accepted into the Azkals’ roster, along with another Fil-Danish booter in Dennis Cagara and Fil-German Stephan Markus Schrock.
Lucena has played professional soccer in Denmark for the last 12 years, first for Esbjerg from 1999 to 2007, and for AGF-Aarhus afterwards.
He was also a member of the Denmark’s national under-21 team during his younger years.
Lucena, who stands 5’9,” said he has been training for the last two weeks after the winter break, and added that he’s looking forward to joining the three-day tryouts for new members of the Azkals which started yesterday at the University of Makati.
“I am looking forward to it (joining the Azkals). It is exciting that I will be able to help raise the level of Philippine football after playing for more than 10 years,” added Lucena.