THE Philippine Football Federation has submitted a provisional 35-man list, including Azkal mainstays Neil Etheridge and Manuel Ott, on the national team that will compete in the 26th Southeast Asian Games Under-23 men’s football championships in Indonesia in November.
Aside from Etheridge, 21, and Ott, 19, other familiar names on the roster are Jason de Jong, Paolo Pascual, Yannick Tuason and Christopher Camcam, who are all members of senior side’s second team.
Among the new players in the list is 5-foot-11 Fil-German Roland Mueller, 23, a regular goalie of German Second ballclub MSV Duisburg who will stand in for Etheridge since the Fil-Brit is tied to his commitments with FC Fulham in the English Premier League.
Mueller, whose mom was born at Clark Air Base in Pampanga and who migrated to Germany at the age of three, is a product of the soccer program of FC Cologne, one of the major powers in the German first division.
Also in the list is Fil-Spanish newcomer Carlos Martinez de Murga, 22, a defender who reportedly plays for third division Racing Club Portuense in Spain. He was scheduled to arrive last Monday to try out for the squad.
Likewise vying for slots are Fil-Italian twins Marwin and Marvin Angeles, who saw action for Laos FC in the recently-concluded PFF-Smart Club championships.
There are several aspirants from the football bailiwicks of Bacolod and Iloilo whose players saw action in the last PFF-Suzuki Under-23 National Championships.
The Bacolod players are Joshua Beloya, Joven Bedic, Aldrin Dolino, Jake Morallo and Lemeul Unabia, who are all members of the Ceres/Bacolod side that captured the PFF-Suzuki Under-23 crown.
Coming from Iloilo are Neckson Leonora, Francis Gustilo, Romeo Martinez and Vicent Braga.
German coach Michael Weiss will handle the nationals, who are bidding for a medal finish in the 10-nation event where football is considered the centerpiece event. The team manager is Dan Palami.
Most of the aspirants will join their senior counterparts in training camp in Bacolod starting Friday, according to national under-23 team coordinator Jogie Ronda.
Several of them will also see action with the Azkals in the Long Teng Invitational Cup in Taiwan kicking off Sept. 25, said Ronda, adding the final 20-man roster is expected to be completed in late October, a week before the SEA Games football tournament kicks off on Nov. 7.
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