by Daryl Lagos
After just a win by the Azkals hosting powerhouse Singapore in Cebu last Thursday, Coach Weiss fielded in a starting line-up of younger guns and players who has now graduated from representing the U23 side.
Significantly, this move was also displayed in clinching the Philippines first international title in the Peace Cup 2012 which also saw our younger nationals mixing up with familiar standouts.
In support of the grass roots effort, a much younger pack of Azkals need to be developed if we want to sustain football in the Philippines that is now breaking on to the world.
I would like to introduce 16 year old Dominic Liam Del Rosario, born on 14 November 1996 who is an Irish-Filipino now residing in Australia.
I spoke to Dominic's mom, Ms. Chastine on about Dom's development and current activity. Last month, both of them flew to UK and mailed me;
" Good day Daryl,
Football season just ended in Sydney Australia that's why we are here in UK as he got a call for a trial in Manchester City and Blackpool. However, we are returning back to Sydney next week as he has school commitments.
He played at the following clubs in Australia:
Australian Football Club
Liverpool Olympic Football Club
Southwest Wanderers Football Club
in which are all under the Southern District of New South Wales
He is also a representative player of the World Football Club in Sydney where he was brought to the UK (Manchester area) to play against other teams here.
This is where he was noticed by different scouts and have been asked to trial. "
Dominic is left footer who can utilize both feet anyway, he plays Left Winger, Midfielder, Striker positions and has been a constant goal scorer.
Below are some of his achievements and honors;
- Currently attending World Football Group Academy
- Have been offered to be assessed by Blackburn Rovers Football Club Academy England on 10 October 2012 however due to flight schedule this has been extended for a few months
- Played for Manchester City Football Club Selective under 16’s against Liverpool Football Club in United Kingdom on 8 October 2012
- Trialled and trained with Manchester City Football Club and Blackpool Football Club in the United Kingdom August 2012 to October 2012
- Captain of World Football Group Academy under 16’s and played against the following clubs in the United Kingdom (Blackpool Football Club, Sheffield United Football Club, Manchester City Football Club and Fleetwood Football Club all in the under 16’s)
Dominic has proven on several occasions he is capable of playing at the highest level in his age group. He is keen to continue his football aspirations and achieve its highest level of play.
He aims to play football in the United Kingdom ( EPL - like every boy's dream ) and wants to represent the Philippines Azkals at the National level.
by Daryl Lagos
The Philippines build-up towards the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 has reached one of it's 'Periodic Exams" battling Bahrain to a 0-0 Draw in Manama before slightly losing 2-1 to the home side Kuwait.
The Azkals did not entirely fielded the lineup who won the Philippine Peace Cup 2012 but did have the Younghusbands, Guirado Brothers, Lucena, Cagara, Jonsson, Mulders, Muller & Neil Etheridge for Kuwait which proved to be a handful for both middle eastern countries to just hammer away a win on the Philippines.
We are trying to get what we like to call in the music industry the "Final Mix" for our ultimate goal this year, the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 out of the deep bench in the Azkals disposal.
The draw in Bahrain proved to be a substantial result against a team that used to be 44 in the world! GCC Champions & Arab Champions in 2011 and is always a force to reckon with in the Middle East & Asia.
Kuwait proved to be a step ahead exhibiting speed, stamina and fitness. Sitting at 112 world wide, Al-Asraq proved to be a bench mark for the country to break. The regular gulf champions has kept the Philippines from advancing in last year's world cup qualification.
The Azkals exhibited discipline and class throughout the field & game and even proving hard to crack easily on defense. The Philippines did not settle for an all defensive action without counter attacks or trying to set up a formation to get a win unlike our previous match in Kuwait.
I can see Angel Guirado, Dennis Wolf, Phil Younghusband in the Kuwait match battling with their defensive match ups to get on the score sheet, the Mid-Field was on war and our Goal Keepers in both matches were highly up to the challenge.
Roland Muller highlighted a great save from a Bahrain attack the could have been the most dangerous for the Azkals. Neil Etheridge was more than outstanding and produced one of the best goal keeping for the nationals I have seen so far, multiple saves from several attacks and what capped it off was a penalty effort saved from a Kuwaiti striker and yet again saving the rebound only seconds right after.
His loan to the pirates kept him sharp and focused. I once said to myself, Bristol Rovers has the entire Philippines guarding their goal now.
3 Stars and a Sun!
You can never take away anything from the team against these 2 countries. We even won a lot of respect and experience. OFWs in particular are ecstatic to see our team go head to head with the host countries, because for them it is not just football but playing for their pride, honor and recognition.
Many might not have seen this part of the pitch but the not only did our team came there, they saw the people who looked up to them and conquered the notion that one day we will be there to win a game and prove Filipinos are truly up to the global challenge in and out of the pitch.
I admire that people on Twitterverse that has already learned the importance of not only producing goals in match, its every little thing that should come together as an entire piece, an entire team.
Decisions are made by the coaches & management based on how they become to see it and people are starting to appreciate the bigger picture. Healthy and constructive arguments that results to deepening relationships between the supporters and football.
A lost or a draw cannot just dictate the massive improvements we have come upon till this date. We still lack some cohesion, but just a little bit of tweaking here and there we will get that engine running.
I am pleased with the Azkals experience in the Middle East!
by Daryl Lagos
The victory could not have been so much sweeter when the nation of basketball crazy population have waited 99 years to be declared winners of an international footballing event.
It was in the Far Eastern Games (ASIAN GAMES) 1913 when the Philippines had last won gold.
There was no loss on record for the Azkals in the Philippines Peace Cup 2012.
The likes of Macau, Guam and Chinese Taipei were a fair test for team that is preparing for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012. The most prestigious ASEAN Cup ever! It is also the same event back in 2010 that saw the Philippines rise from the ashes.
The championship night was sealed off by goals from Dennis Santos Wolf, Skipper Chieffy Caligdong and OJ Porteria. This is also the 1st win over final's rival Chinese Taipei in 7 Clashes.
The Azkals played class in all 3 matches that in turned sealed them to sweep the entire tournament.
This also reflected in the awarding ceremony that saw Dennis Wolf, as the Golden Boot Awardee & Most Valuable Player, Mathew Uy was declared the best Mid-Fielder while Jeff Christiaens taking home best defender award.
Eduard Sacapano hailed as the best Goalkeeper taking command in the absence of GK Neil Etheridge & Roland Muller. All these players came from the Philippine National Football team.
Shining through the night was the trophy for the Champions that was also won by the Philippines.
Though a minor tournament, Azkals Coach Weiss was confident that this win will boost the national side's confidence in competing to what he would call as the "Climax" of these entire preparation..The AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 in November.
FIFA has also released the World Rankings that now sees the Philippines at 147, 21st in Asia, and 3rd in South East Asia.
This has been the nation's highest rank in history...yet.
Great Shots by Anton Sheker
The Azkals coming off a strengthening process after reaching historical milestones such as the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 3rd place finish are approaching an almost new phase in their preparations for the the region's most prestigious tournament, the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012.
The Philippines started off with a draw in Cambodia, 0-0 Score line last Wednesday did not really reflect the story that went with it. We had the upper hand as to controlling the match tempo and creating chances but was just not able to finish with a goal. Quite unlucky too as we could have scored but it's either the post saving it for Cambodia, or us missing it an inch wide and hitting it a little off target. The pitch was horrible and as if it was not meant to be for us...rain made it even more worst. No argument, many people said that we could have done better but this is football.
One big revelation however, is the quality shown by Filipino-Belgian Patrick Reichelt who came in as a impact-sub in the later half.
Expectations are high but these friendlies are tests for the team to know where and when to put on the needed adjustments. Winning is great, but the journey towards it is even greater.
Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 saw the Azkals battling regional football powerhouse Singapore. The Philippines twisting history again by defeating The Lions 2 - 0 in what many would describe as a glimpse of our potentials best displayed. Bob Guerrero would account this win for the Philippines as the 1st in the last 40 Years. FIFA would revealed our country defeating Singapore in 1972 with the same score.
Chieffy Caligdong scored in the 1st goal creating a shot for himself at 8' minute mark, followed by a precise curve shot by Phil Younghusband for the 2nd goal in the 48' minute at the 2nd half. Our defenders being led by Rob Gier, Jason Sabio, Carli De Murga and Jeffrey Christiaens were solid to help fend off Singapore's attack providing much needed defensive cover for our No.1 GK Neil Etherdige at the post.
The arrival of Filipino-German Stephan Schrock and playing along side with the team Vs Singapore is one big boost for the Philippines. Schrock was involved in a number of visionary passing that helped scored both goals. An assist to Chieffy and a great ball to set Phil Younghusband made a lot of difference. Stephan would then say that he is just a small piece of the team and that everyone played a great game.
Everyone has been waiting for the most formidable Azkals squad ever, but the hardship of trying to get our best team is always a work in progress since many of them still play for their European clubs. Having get them to play together for a short period is a leisure for both the country and the management but it is never impossible.
The Azkals is now enjoying a little bit more flexibility in trying to field the best squad in every match. The move of Fil-Europeans like Jason De Jong, Dennis Wolf and Patrick Reichelt for instance to our United Football League (UFL) is instrumental to the success of the national team. Younger players are influenced and more Filipinos are taking on the challenge than ever before with the emergence of professional football in the country.
A young 9 year old Filipino kid Sandro Reyes has been accepted to Barcelona's Futbol Escola, the development of our grass root programs and the recent partnership of DEPed & PFF. The many more undiscovered young Filipino talents in the country with football genes waiting to be polished...the future looks promising.
The Philippines National Football Team is now on its 3rd and final ASEAN 3-Nation tour in Laos. They will play a friendly game with the host country on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. The Azkals will miss the services of Phil & James Younghusband which is due to a very important family commitment, while Jerry Lucena has been recalled by his club, the final line up for LAOS is listed below from the Official Site.
The following national team players have been called up for the friendly against Laos on September 10, 2012.
Goalkeepers: Neil Leonard Etheridge, Eduard Sacapano, Ref Delany Cuaresma
Defenders: David Mark Basa, Robert James Gier, Jason Abbott Sabio, Carlos Alberto Martinez de Murga, Roel Gener
Midfielders: Marwin Angeles, Marvin Angeles, Misagh Bahadoran, Emelio Caligdong, Jeffrey Christiaens, Jason Nicolas Maria De Jong, Nestorio Margarse Jr., Paul Mulders, Jose Elmer Porteria, Andres Crisanto Gonzales, Patrick Reichelt, Stephan Schrock
Forwards: Ian Araneta, Denis Wolf
By Daryl Lagos
Many are chosen, but only 3 made it to the Global Top 100 from the UK National Finals and top 4 was UK Born Filipino, Curt Dizon.
I bought a NIke mercurial shoes about 4 months ago and saw on the tag that came in with the shoes was "Get The Chance - Register" I had no clue that it will truly be something awesome until I heard about Nike's football camp across countries all over the world.
In the UK draft of 5000 entries, Curt Dizon made his cut to the top 50 and 28, It must have been crazy just having to think about this young man's experience in the football camp that was not set for training...but rather a competition.
Curt is seen in this picture 2nd from the right on a bottom row.
This article will give you a personal insight on Curt Dizon written by J. Henson
UK-BORN PINOY SEES AZKALS TRY-OUT
The Video will tour your around the Nike: Chance - UK National Finals, Curt Dizon making a goal with a curve strike to top it off.
Fulham's Neil Etheridge admits his chances at Craven Cottage are limited but is happy to learn from Mark Schwarzer and David Stockdale.
The Filipino shot-stopper admits his chances of securing regular first-team football in the near future are unlikely, due to the quality of the two men ahead of him in the pecking order.
However, the 22-year-old feels working alongside Australian international Schwarzer and Stockdale can only aid his development and Etheridge is happy to play the waiting game at Fulham.
He told the club's official website: "It's great for my development working with guys like Mark Schwarzer and David Stockdale.
"They're two great goalkeepers and it's obviously great working with them. Stocko has been on the fringes of the England squad and people don't need to say how good Schwarzey is as a goalkeeper.
"He's nearly reached 100 caps for his country and he's been playing in the Premier League for 14 years. Stocko still learns from Mark and obviously I'm learning from Mark as well, but everyone has their own style of play.
"When you've got 'keepers of their calibre ahead of you it's hard to get the opportunity [to play] but it makes you work that little bit harder. Not that you need any extra motivation, but it does make you work that little bit harder because you've got great goalkeepers in front of you."
| Original Post |
Since coming to PSG in 2005, Alphonse Areola never stops growing. And has already reached its adult size (1.91 m), the great goalkeeper has not finished growing sport. Far from it even, according to Bertrand Reuzeau. "He still has much room for growth," said the head of training in Paris.
"What impresses me is that it crosses the steps one after the other without ever panicking and staying himself," says the coach of Team France U19, Pierre Mankowski, who recently promoted to captain the French-Filipino born in Paris there are nineteen. Qu'Areola a rewarding role, that precocious talent has always amazed by his maturity - he signed his first professional contract at PSG at the age of 16 years - was "very logically assumed."
This season, the player seems to have found the right carburetion CFA. "It's like he's driving a brand new Ferrari with a full tank and it started to become a good driver," dares his agent Franck Belhassen. The young goalkeeper produced quality games and enjoy each day to drive from the experience of Sirigu, Douchez and Le Crom. "The coach (Ed: Carlo Ancelotti) took a fourth guard this winter (Le Crom) so he can continue playing in reserve and not to sit on the bench or in the stands," said Franck Belhassen. The result is there. "It is on the rise, Judge Bertrand Reuzeau. It will now confirm that in the professional world. "
Exactly. Carlo Ancelotti, who had wanted when he arrived this winter, see more young Parisian become hardened in the CFA, he decides to do so soon go up in rank, while the future remains unclear Douchez and Le Crom is out of contract? Areola, which extended its lease last summer at PSG until 2016, still has time to convince.
And the assumption of a loan is not excluded. To his coach at the U19 tricolor Pierre Mankowski is an avenue to explore: "This is quite exceptional for being so young owner of a professional subject, but it would be good for his personal development, progression and training he discovers a new level. This is the case of PSG, but for me the ideal would be that he plays at least in L2. "
Monitored since its inception by big European teams ( Manchester United , Tottenham, Chelsea ...), its profile would undoubtedly attract the interest of some coaches. Franck Belhassen admit to not having yet begun discussions with the Parisian club. "Its aim is to hold one day at PSG and for that he must go and get playing time in a higher division at CFA. "But when? "That's the club to decide," concluded the agent.
Fil-French Areola proud of Azkals' progress
By Edward Lao, ABS-CBN News Europe Bureau
LONDON – Young Filipino-French goal-keeper Alphonse Areola is proud of the achievements of the Philippine national team, especially as he has been following the Azkals' progress since their rise to prominence in the 2010 Suzuki Cup.
Filipino-French goal-keeper Alphonse Areola. File photo. "I'm happy and proud of the Azkals because they have made rapid progression," said the 19-year-old Areola, who plays for Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.
"I used to play in courtyards in the Philippines with my family and friends, and nobody knew football. It was only basketball," he related.
"I used to tell my mother it was my dream to have a football team for the Philippines, and now it's happening."
Areola’s parents are both Filipinos but he was born and raised in Paris, and is playing for the French Under-19 team.
Areola has not been capped by the senior team, however, meaning he can still choose to represent the Philippines.
The Azkals field a large contingent of foreign-born or half-blooded Filipino players. Although they have undoubtedly contributed to the success of the team, their presence has also raised speculation and debates regarding their Filipino identity.
Before the AFC Challenge Cup last March, veteran GMA-7 anchor Arnold Clavio sparked an uproar when he accused some Azkals of only pretending to be Filipino. The tirade, which took place on their show 'Unang Hirit,' was during a discussion on the sexual harassment complaints filed against players Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado.
The topic of race came up anew on June 5, when the Philippines faced Indonesia in an international friendly in Manila. During the match, some Indonesian fans chanted 'Hindi Kayo Pilipino' (You are not Filipino) to members of the Azkals.
Areola admits he was shocked by the chants, but said it does not matter as long as the selected players are eligiible and that the Philippines continue to progress.
"I don't mind if players are mixed, half-Filipino, German, English," Areola said. "It doesn't cause a problem as long as they are part Filipino. They automatically have Filipino blood."
"For the Azkals to have a great team they need to have real players. It doesn't matter if they are half-Filipino as long as they have a good team," he added.
Areola is undecided about his footballing future, as he plays on the French youth team but has also caught the eye of Azkals management.
"There's a chance of going senior. But if I don't get a call, then I have to reconsider my options because of my age, and maybe play for the Philippines," he said.
Areola will be France's first choice-goalkeeper when they play in the Under-19 European Championships In Estonia in July.
by Daryl Lagos
Baptized by Fire & Ice, Indonesia has found a new rival in the north eastern part of their archipelago.
Indonesia traveled to Manila to meet the Philippines on a FIFA sanctioned friendly game that ended in a 2-2 Draw & 3 Red Cards.
The Philippines for the 1st time in their match against the Indonesians controlled possession all through out the game.
A slightly off beat 1st half for the Azkals who were trying to assemble an attack that can break the Indonesian defense was seen early.
Filipino-Danish Dennis Cagara who just flew in to join the squad was remarkable with his precision passes saw great chances for the Philippines to take an early lead.
The 1st half ended with no goals, but the 2nd half is where it all begun.
Philippines coach Weiss started fielding in the starters that saw Philip & James Younghusband, Neil Etheridge and Jerry Lucena come in for Wolf, Mulders, Angeles and GK Roland Muller.
In the 58' mark, Wanggai from a cross connected with a low header breaking the stand off 1-0 in favor of Indonesia. A minute later, James Younghusband would equalize following a determined interception of a ball that he clinically finished on a 1 on 1 against a very experienced Indonesian Goal Keeper.
A clearance by Indonesia was met by Carli's header only to bounce off finding a Garuda Star Striker Irfan Bachdim racing towards Neil Etheridge who tried to sweep the ball but only to see it slip off in between his legs finding the net the gave Indonesia the lead 2-1 in the 61st minute.
Rain fell as dramatic as ever, it tried to cool off the pressure but rather became the baptism of fire and ice. Misagh Bahadoran came in for Angel Guirado earlier was fouled on a possession, a complaining Chieffy Caligdong was a recipient of a hot headed Irfan that pushed the Azkals captain starting the confusion and Manny Ott got involved immediately.
Irfan continued pushing Chieffy Caligdong until Dennis Cagara from behind came in to push the Indonesian Idol back to knock it off (Face Me Style!)
The Referee pulled out 3 solid red cards that sent the Indonesian Idol Bachdim to an early after rain shower. Chieffy & Ott was off the pitch as well. The Philippines with 9 Men Vs 10 Indonesians scuffle back to reorganize the set piece as a free kick was underway.
Cagara made a precise kick for James Younghusband to head bounce pass it close enough to Phil that would make no mistake in volleying in the 2nd equalizer of the match.
The Philippines could have even won this game after Phil's well timed shot was critically saved by another Indonesian Idol Goalie Marcus. He then went down on the pitch as if in pain burning the critical 5 mins added for injury time.
The game ended in a draw 2-2.
The Philippines fought with heart all game but the cohesiveness of their play made things difficult at the end.
The Azkals had so much talent on the bench and coach needed to use the game as an experiment to bring out possible scenarios that could come in the future.
Some players might not be available during games and the team needed back up fire power that can be tapped in easily.
A glimpse of an upcoming Suzuki 2012 match was seen and a new rivalry is born out of it.
It started off in AFF Suzuki 2010 when Indonesia through their Uruguayan naturalized striker shot 2 goals that took the Philippines off the semi-finals.
The 2 national team shall meet again in this year's edition...the only difference is that the Azkals are now ranked 3rd in the entire region.
Stats Summary : Indonesia Vs The Philippines
December 2010, The AFF Suzuki Cup dreams ended for the Philippines as Indonesia hosted the semi-finals on both Home-Away games winning 2-0 on aggregate.
The Philippines could not host the home game due to an sub-par pitch at the RMS.
The Azkals who were having a historical run at the cup suffered heart breaking loses that would only propel an entire basketball nation to swivel a head and take notice of football.
A year and half, more training days / games, 3rd place win at the AFC Challenge Cup, new sponsors and bringing Filipino football players from all over the world later...we have now reached another game day vs Indonesia.
Today June 5, 2012, The Philippines will be hosting a match that would be a testing ground of their progress for this year's edition of the Suzuki Cup via a friendly match. luckily, Indonesia will be facing the most promising Philippine team ever assembled and available all together at a time.
Indonesia will be fighting for a winning streak Vs the Philippines that has never been broken.
The Azkals on the other hand are to take a periodical quiz in front of screaming Filipino supporters that are all hoping for a win & vengeance.
Indonesia whopped the Philippines in 2002, with a 13-1 triumph at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, but this is entirely a different squad that includes Filipino footballers from across the world.
Leading the Indons are Dutch Born Bachdim and an ever threatening Okto, while the Philippines will be have The Younghusbands back after missing an earlier friendly with Malaysia, Neil Etheridge at the post, Jerry Lucena & Dennis Cagara on the pitch and a much more solid line up of Chieffy Caligdong, Paul Mulders, Manny Ott, Rob Gier, Angel Guirado, Jason Sabio, Juan Luis, Carli, Misagh and the strong others.