|By Kenneth Ho|
Philippines will face off against Myanmar on February 6 in their first international friendly match of 2013 without several of their formidable stars.
After a successful 2012 in which they reached their second consecutive semi-finals in the Suzuki Cup and placed third in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, the Azkals are looking to prepare adequately for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers and achieve another successful campaign.
However, they will have to make do for this friendly without several European-based key players, with Paul Mulders, who plays for Ado Den Haag in Holland, and Bundesliga club MSV Duisburg goalkeeper Roland Muller among the notable absentees.
Spanish-based Javier Patino will also be unable to make his debut for the Azkals as the Cordoba striker’s application for a Philippines passport is still pending.
Instead, only three players will be flying in from Europe, with the bulk of the squad being players from the domestic football division. Fulham’s goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who missed the AFFSC 2012 campaign due to club commitments, will return to the squad. Ascot United defender Rob Gier will also join the squad, along with 20-year-old Manny Ott, who turns out for Ingolstadt II in Germany.
Philippines will face Park’s Sung-Hwa side at Thuwunna Youth Training Centre, and will commence their 2014 Challenge Cup qualifying campaign on March 22 against Brunei.
Full Squad List:
Goalkeepers: Neil Etheridge (Fulham F.C.), Ref Cuaresma (Loyola Meralco Sparks), Eduard Sacapano (Philippine Army)
Defenders: Rob Gier (Ascot United), Roel Gener (Philippine Army)
Midfielders: Marvin Angeles (Global F.C.), Marwin Angeles (Global F.C.), Jason De Jong (Stallions Sta. Lucia), Chris Greatwich (Kaya F.C.), Nestorio Margarse Jr. (Philippine Army), Manny Ott (FC Ingolstadt 04 ll), OJ Porteria (Kaya F.C.), Matthew Uy (Global F.C.), Patrick Reichelt (Global F.C.),
Forwards: Ian Araneta (Philippine Air Force), Emelio Caligdong (Green Archers United), Jeffrey Christiaens (Global F.C), Phil Younghusband (Loyola Meralco Sparks), James Younghusband (Loyola Meralco Sparks)