MANILA, Philippines - Seeking to sustain the gains of the senior Azkals and toughened up by a weeklong training in Japan, the Phl men’s under-23 team leaves for Jakarta today to vie for a first-ever medal in the Southeast Asian Games.
Azkal mainstay Jason de Jong and Fil-British Matthew Hartmann will lead the 20-man crew assembled by coach Michael Weiss for the campaign, which begins on Thursday against Vietnam.
Both playing midfield, Fil-Dutch de Jong, the most senior of the lot, and Hartmann, who scored a goal in the Azkals’ 4-0 win over Nepal in a friendly, are groomed to be captain of the side composed of Fil-foreign and homegrown bets.
With them are Hartmann’s brother Mark (MF), Fil-German Roland Muller (GK), Fil-Spanish Carlos de Murga (DF), Gerardo Valmayor (FW), Raymark Fernandez (DF), Fil-Belgian Jeffrey Christiaens (MF), Fil-Italian Marwin Angeles (MF), Jake Morallo (MF), Fil-Am OJ Porteria (MF);
Paolo Pascual (GK), Joshua Beloya (FW), OJ Clarino (FW), Neckson Leonora (DF), Fil-Germans Patrick Hinrichsen (MF) and Mark Drinkuth (MF), Fil-Belgian Jacques Van Bossche (DF), David Basa (DF) and Topher Camcam (GK).
Two “extra” players – Angeles’ twin brother Marvin (MF) and Jerry Barbaso (DF) – will also be flying in with Phl XI, according to team coordinator Jogie Ronda.
The roster was culled from a 30-man pool, the bulk of which underwent training in Gotemba and Tokyo, Japan the past week.