The Philippine Azkals, after their lopsided victory over Nepal in an international friendly, will take a long break before beginning their preparation for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup in March.
"We will resume training most likely in January," said national coach Michael Weiss as his focus now shifts on mentoring the Under-23 team set to compete in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia next month.
The German coach is confident that the Azkals will still be in tip-top shape during the break mainly because of the ongoing United Football League (UFL) where several players are participating with different clubs.
"With UFL getting Azkals players, they'll be getting high level training during the process of preparing for the AFC Challenge Cup," Weiss said.
Weiss also said that team chemistry will be vital in their preparation for the AFC Challenge Cup.
"We need to have better organization and work on our set pieces," said Weiss.
The Azkals, specifically the senior national men's team, earned a trip to the AFC Challenge Cup after hurdling Mongolia in the pre-qualifier and finishing second in their group during the qualifying round in Myanmar.
They also advanced to the second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers when they beat Sri Lanka but lost in the next phase to Kuwait.
The team settled to a pair of draws early in the Long Teng Cup in Taiwan before beating Macau in their final game. The Azkals also bowed to Singapore in an an international friendly two week sago.
But they recovered by defeating Nepal, 4-0, Tuesday night behind the home crowd at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex to wrap up the year.
"Everybody remembers the last game," said Weiss. — Reuben Terrado/JVP, GMA News