ba Abac Cordero
The Azkals coach is keeping an eye on the Mongolians.
“For the moment, I know they’re training outside of Mongolia,” said Hans Michael Weiss of the team they will soon face in the AFC Challenge Cup in Bacolod City.
The Mongolians, Weiss learned, moved out of the capital of Ulan Bator mainly because the weather is too cold, freezing at minus 20 degrees.
“I was told they’re training in an artificial pitch,” said Weiss during the PSA Forum.
Weiss said he also received information that a couple of Mongolian players are injured, and that there are younger ones coming in for their Feb. 9 match with the Azkals at the Panaad Stadium.
“They are building up. So, maybe we will face a not so experienced team,” he said, adding that the Mongolians, considered as one of the weakest teams in football, will soon move to Guangzhou, China.
“I think they will stay there, train there for a week before coming over to Bacolod. I expect our opponents to be very serious. So we are also serious in preparing for this match,” said the 45-year-old mentor.
At the same time, he has an eye glued on the Azkals.
“I know everybody’s enthusiastic,” he said.
Part of his job is putting up the final lineup for the AFC Challenge. So far he has around 30 players under his wings, each one of them fit and ready to get the job done against the Mongolians.
But there are new faces coming in, new faces as far as he’s concerned, because on Feb. 6, a bunch of Azkals based overseas, including Neil Etheridge, Chris Greatwich, Jason de Jong, Rob Gier and Anton del Rosario, are coming in.
Then there’s a couple more who might make it if they get their passports done in time, European recruits Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Patrick Herget, John Hinrichsen, Oliver Potschke and Stephan Schrock.
“It would been better if we had group together by now. But it’s okay. I don’t worry. The players we have right now are fit, and they will try to transfer the ideas to those coming in. It’s going to be okay,” said Weiss.
“I still have to see the others. Then we will test them and observe.Then I can announce the final lineup one day before the match. The others will have to present themselves,” he said.
The Azkals will fly to Bacolod today to start training at the Panaad Stadium.