Thirteen of 25 players called up for the Philippine Azkals’ national men’s football training camp are now in Doha, Qatar.
Team officials said veteran team members, led by Stephan Schrock, are now doing their workouts with the team.
The Azkals, coached by Scott Cooper, will resume their search for a qualifying slot to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the Asian Cup next month.
Fil-British goalie Neil Etheridge, who recently got married, is one of the 12 players still not around the team. He is among those expected to catch up with the rest of the team in the coming days.
Joining Schrock in Doha are Matt Baldissimo, Mark Hartmann, Niko De Vera, Mar Diano, Angel Guirado, Alvaro Silva, Mark Winhoffer, Luke Woodland, Bernd Schipmann, Jarvey Gayoso, Patrick Reichelt and Michael Kempter.
Newcomer Baldissimo is a Filipino-Canadian professional, who plays as a midfielder for Pacific FC.
The Azkals are scheduled for a two-week training bubble and a series of friendly matches from May 22 to 31.
After that, they will fly to China for matches against Guam (June 3), China (June 9) and the Maldives (June 15).
“This is going to be a big challenge for us, playing in China. We are looking forward to the competition,” said team manager Dan Palami.
New faces, led by Gerrit Holtmann, Jesper Nyholm, Raphael Obermair, and Lloyd Fagerlie will also join the camp, after getting an invitation from Cooper.
Naturalization candidate Bienve Marañon and Fil-Australian Jesse Curran won’t make the trip due to documentary issues.
But the two are still expected be part of the team in the future.
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