By Cheska D. Geli
Thursday, December 8, 2011
THE Little Azkals will cap this year’s activities with a weeklong training camp on Dec. 15 to 22 in San Carlos City that will also serve as the selection process for the Italy training camp.
Head coach Oliver Colina and the rest of the coaching staff will evaluate the performance of the players from July until the final activity next week to pick the 24 players who will go to Palermo, Italy next year.
Colina said that players who cannot join the training camp this December will also miss their chance to join the team bound for Italy.
The team currently has 30 players with seven Cebuanos in the lineup. He encouraged all his players to commit for the training camp.
“They have to play hard and earn their spots in the team. They can’t be complacent about this camp,” said Colina.
The 13-Under national team has been doing a series of training camps and has also joined various tournaments around the country since competing in the AFC U-13 Football Festival in July.
The team joined the Treadtel Cup in Cebu, had a friendly game in Cagayan and had an assessment with German coach Eckhart Krautzun, who once coached the Philippine team in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games.
“The last one really helped us to start establishing a team philosophy that would make us unique from other teams,” said Colina.
Colina has yet to finalize the content of the training but he promised to have four to five matches in the last three days of the camp.
The 24-man squad will be released either in the last week this month or the first week of January.
Colina’s calendar is open from January to March and he hopes the team can join a tournament before the team leaves in the third week of April.
After the camp in Italy, the team will have the whole month of May to prepare for the AFC U-14 Festival of Football in June.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 08, 2011.