By Karlo Sacamos
PHIL and James Younghusband have assured that there will be no scheduling conflicts this time between their national team duty and their off-field commitments.
The celebrated brothers once again headline the Clear Dream Match, the same charity all-star football game last year which caused a scheduling conflict with the Azkals' US training camp that led to the Younghusbands being left out of the Peace Cup roster.
A year later, the Filipino-British booters are happy that there will be such problems this time.
“There’s no scheduling conflict this time,” James Younghusband told Spin.ph on Saturday during the Clear Dream Match Draft at the SM Megamall Events Center.
“Football is still developing in the country. Obviously there are different schedules, different goals, and it’s about merging those goals together, and everyone uniting, forgetting about the politics and trying to get the same goal to develop football in the country,” James added.
Last year, the Clear Dream Match coincided with the Azkals’ US training camp in August, which the Younghusbands missed. As a consequence, they were excluded from the Peace Cup roster the following month.
“We learned things from last year,” Phil said. “The communication with boss Dan (Palami), coach (Michael) Weiss, the PFF, our management, Clear, and everyone has been amazing this year, so it should avoid any (conflicts) like that.”
“They’ve been very understanding,” added Phil, the country’s top international scorer. “I’m sure they know what this Clear Dream Match does to football. And we owe a lot to the Azkals and we’re also looking forward to the game against Indonesia.”
The Azkals, who climbed this month to their best-ever world ranking at 141st, return to action on Wednesday when they face Indonesia at the opponent’s turf in a Fifa friendly that the Younghusbands are going to make.
“I’m very thankful to the PFF,” James said. “They didn’t schedule (an Azkals activity on the same day as the Clear event). They’ve scheduled at least a game (earlier) to get the team together and give an opportunity to the Under-23 players to show what they’ve got and show that they should be playing in the SEA Games.”
OJ Porteria, Jeff Christiaens, Marwin Angeles, Mark Hartmann, Joshua Beolya, Patrick Deyto, Raymark Fernandez, Paolo Bugas, and Amani Aguinaldo are the U-23 standouts who have been called up against Indonesia.