By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
Friday, September 9, 2011
AFTER arriving at the New Bacolod-Silay Airport, members of the Philippine Men’s Football Team-Azkals took just a short rest at Luxur Place and immediately proceeded to their training at Panaad Park and Stadium football pitch on Thursday.
Azkals’ head coach Hans Michael Weiss said that he was very happy to be back in Bacolod after the Azkals-Mongolia game last February.
“I have lots of great memories here. People here are very friendly and I’m very thankful for their warm reception,” Weiss said.
Meanwhile, Weiss said that joining him in the camp are eighteen U23 players and nine senior standouts to compose the national team as they prepare for bigger tournaments.
“We now have younger players who show potential. We are looking for young blood,” he added.
Weiss also confirmed that the team has invited Fil-German keeper Roland Mueller to join the team. “He trained with us last week and the team liked how he plays in the pitch. He will surely help the team in our campaign. But Neil (Etheridge) is still the team’s first keeper,” Weiss said.
The 23-year-old, 5’ 11” Mueller will serve as the Azkals’ last line of defense in the absence of the team’s key goalie Fil-British Neil Etheridge, who will not be available for the Long Teng Cup.
Also with the pack which arrived Thursday is 22-year-old Fil-Spanish defender Carlie Olai-Var De Murga who will fill up the position of Fil-British defender Rob Gier, whose wife is expected to give birth to their first child during the period of the competition.
Weiss also said that Fil-Danish Jason de Jong, Fil-German Manny Ott and Fil-Icelandic Ray Anthony Jonsson will be rejoining the team in their Taiwan games.
Completing the list of players are the men’s team led by Ian Araneta, Roel Gener, Nestorio Margarse, Lexton Moy, Yannick Tuason, Fil-Iranian Misagh Bahadoran, Fil-Am Nathaniel Burkey, Fil-British siblings James and Phil Younghusband and reserve keepers Eduardo Sacapano, Paolo Pascual and Christopher Camcam.
The U23 team members are Fil-British siblings Mark Andrew and Matthew James Hartmann, Fil-Italian twin Marwin Janver and Marvin Janwer Angeles, Davis Mark Basa, Jerry Barbaso, Mark Chester Braga, Romeo Martinez Jr., Reymark Fernandez, Deo Segunial, Stephen Ralph Permanes, Neckson Leonora, Gerardo Valmayor III, Lemuel Unabia and David Franz Fornea.
On the other hand, the goodwill game between the All-Korean team from the Central Philippine University and the Azkals is still being finalized as of press time. The match was reported earlier to take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 09, 2011.