Cedelf P. Tupas
Midfielder Simon Greatwich is expected to be back for the second leg of the Philippines’ AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series against Mongolia on March 15 in Ulan Bator.
The 22-year-old Filipino-British standout, who came in as a halftime substitute in the 2-nil first leg victory at the Panaad in Bacolod last Feb. 9, said yesterday that he may be available as early as a week before the showdown with the Mongolians.
Greatwich said he wants to join the team for training camp in the Japan Football Association facility, located just outside Tokyo.
“I’m still hoping I could join the camp,” said Greatwich, a varsity player of Hartwick College in New York, who made an impact on attack in the second half against Mongolia, nearly scoring on an overhead kick.
Greatwich’s availability comes as a boost for the Azkals, considering that his older brother, Chris, and defender Rob Gier will miss the match.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge had earlier ruled himself out of the Mongolia game and may join the team if it progresses to the group qualifying tournament in Myanmar. Expected to start in his place is Eduard Sacapano.