MANILA, Philippines - Coach Michael Weiss and team manager Dan Palami are both pleased with the progress of the Japan training camp of the Philippine Under-23 pool bound for the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia next week.
Although still missing Europe-based players Carli de Murga, Roland Mueller, and Jeffrey Christiaens, the U-23 crew led by Jason de Jong, Matthew and Mark Hartmann, OJ Porteria and Jinggoy Valmayor have made the most out of their sessions in Gotemba, Japan.
“The camp and training have been fantastic so far. We have worked very hard on cohesion, offensive and defensive patterns in the way we want to play our game,” Weiss said in an email to The STAR.
Phl XI played two friendlies in Gotemba, scoring a 5-1 win over Hiryu FC and yielding a 0-2 setback to a U-18 JFA Academy side backstopped by some national mainstays.
“Apart from training, we went to study the training of Shimizu S-Pulse J1 Club and had the opportunity to talk to (top players) Naohiro Takahara, Shinji Ono and Freddy Ljungberg, a former Arsenal player,” said Weiss.
The Filipinos flew to Tokyo Saturday to watch the J-League Yamazaki Nabisco Cup finals, where the Kashima Antlers won over the Urawa Red Diamonds,1-0, observing how it’s played in the big leagues.
The team was slated to play Tokyogakkan Urayasu HS football team yesterday as the final tuneup of their Japan sojourn. It is scheduled to arrive in Manila today and depart for Jakarta tomorrow, two days ahead of their Nov. 3 match with Vietnam.