MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Under-23 squad’s bid for a first medal in the Southeast Asian Games football competition in Indonesia suffered a blow after Fil-German midfielder Manny Ott ruled himself out of the event to search for a new club in Germany.
With seven appearances for the senior team, Ott, a vital cog in the Azkals’ run to the second round of World Cup Qualifying, could have been one of the most experienced players in the SEA Games squad, which faces Vietnam in its first match on November 3 at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
“I’m searching for another club here and so I have to stay and play for my team,” Ott said in his Facebook account. “My heart is beating for the Philippines. I’m very, very sad, but I have to think about my future.”
Ott, whose mother hails from Caticlan, Aklan, is attached with FC Ingolstadt II, which plays in the fourth division in Germany.
Ott’s absence gives additional responsibilities to the veteran Jason de Jong to lead the side in Jakarta.