03 June 2012

Weiss: Deeper talent pool up for PH Azkals


PHILIPPINE Azkals coach Michael Weiss has “tough decisions” to make ahead of the national side’s international friendly match against 2010 Suzuki Cup losing finalist Indonesia tomorrow at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
With five key players available for the match apart from the squad that held Malaysia to a scoreless draw at the Shah Alam Stadium Friday night, Weiss will have a bigger and better talent pool to choose from for his starting eleven.
“It’s going to be difficult for coach (Weiss) to decide on the starting XI and I don’t really envy him,” said veteran defender Rob Gier. “But the future looks good. Selection is going to be tough that’s why coach (Weiss) has to make these tough decisions.”
Azkals manager Dan Palami said the added depth could only be a positive sign for the squad.
“On one hand, it’s becoming easy you have material on the bench coming in,” Palami said. “But on the other hand it’s also difficult because of all the players’ desire to be part of the starting XI. The important thing is they are getting experience from the matches.“
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, striker Phil Younghusband, midfielder James Younghusband and defenders Jerry Lucena and Dennis Cagara are beefing up the side for the Indonesia clash, which marks the first time that the two countries will meet since the 2010 Suzuki Cup semifinals.
The Indonesians won, 2-0, on aggregate in the Suzuki Cup with the Philippines’ home match also played at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta in the absence of a suitable venue in the country.
Only defender Juani Guirado is doubtful for the clash tomorrow after he sustained a knee injury in the final minutes against Malaysia.

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