27 March 2012

Toughest Azkals squad yet for int’l friendlies

By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE PHILIPPINE Azkals could parade their best team yet when they face a slew of powerhouse sides in international friendly matches slated in June in Manila and Bacolod.
Azkals manager Dan Palami yesterday expressed confidence that Europe-based players like Stephan Schrock, Paul Mulders, Jerry Lucena, Dennis Cagara and Neil Etheridge will suit up for the national team from June 5 to 12.
“We see no reason why they will not be available since it’s a Fifa-sanctioned international friendly dates plus it’s also the end of the season with most clubs in Europe,” said Palami yesterday at the weekly PSA Forum presented by Shakey’s, Smart and Pagcor.
Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam have been invited to a friendly match on June 5 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with the Philippine Football Federation hoping that one of the three Southeast Asian countries will be available.
The Azkals plan to fly to Bacolod for a match possibly against Hong Kong on June 8 at the Panaad Stadium.
The Azkals are likely to face China’s Olympic team for the “Independence Day Cup” on June 12 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
“China has already agreed but we might face their Olympic team, which I think is still very strong,” said Palami.
All the matches are part of the Azkals’ buildup for the Suzuki Cup Asean Championships late this year in Thailand and Malaysia.



  1. Hong Kong and China Olympic team ? China dont have a Olympic team now because they are out of the qualifiers for 2012 Olympics ! I guess it is the U21 team for 2013 U22 Championship?

    Still it is just invitations and nothing confirmed...

  2. Meh. I'd rather the PFF find a full national teams to play against.

    The Independence Day Cup is only a one off match? Lame! Make it an actual tournament or just leave it as a plain friendly.

  3. Why not open a 2012 Philippine Independence Cup invited at least 4 strong teams

    At least, more on interesting and very challenging

    Anyway, whatever the plan of the AZKALS during FIFA calendar I hope they will have a complete Fil- Foreign players reunion (Niel & Muller) come together in the Philippines

    i hope they will come ......

  4. So they are going to waste our time inviting an under 21 team that won't count in the rankings? What? Forget it.

  5. what a waste of time. you are wasting travel expenses of players based in Europe, risking them from injuries against an under 21 team?!? what a waste! this shows that AFC still doesnt take us seriously. i mean... cmon. AFC Challenge Cup prestigious? LOL! Even if we became champions its still a tournament for minnows, and we would still be minnows!

    1. Exactly! We'll still be minnows for quite some time still!

      However, it seems that the PFF and even the fat ass himself, Palami, thinks we're already "grown up" and therefore think we can hang with the big boys. Yet when they try to invite them, all they can send is a half-arsed youth/Olympic team! LOL!!!

  6. Yeah, a total waste....why should it be China? Look for another senior squad....no sense to play always against Junior U-21 or U-23 teams.....apart from not getting ranking points.
    It's great the got a 3rd place in the challenge cup....but the teams who participate there are just 2nd dor 3rd choice in Asia. When we played vs. a little bit stronger sides we struggled and lost....North Korea ok, but Turmenistan is far away from being an equisite side....even our SEA neighbours kicked them out in WC qualifier (Singapore for South Africa qualifier and Indonesia last year).........and see how they performed ....they even not got a single point and were thrash and lashed...........so we are still minnows and will it be still for years or decades.....

  7. I agree, such a waste of time. Why not invite any other strong countries..