By Dyan Castillejo
The Philippine Azkals are back in business, training hard for the first round of their World Cup Qualifier against Sri Lanka.
The Azkals now practice for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.
The team’s coaches, especially German coach Hans Weiss, are pushing the players to work harder than ever. Today’s morning practice in the Alabang Country Club field saw the Azkals participating in different weight exercises and speed drills.
The players aim to develop their speed, movement, strength and stamina in preparation for their game on June 29.
Phil Younghusband was also in the Alabang Country Club but did not participate in the team practice. He was hospitalized last weekend due to dehydration after a Club League game and is still recovering.
Aly Borromeo and Chieffy Caligdong also rested after playing for the Club League in the previous evening. Forward Ian Araneta was also out due to a groin injury, but all three players are expected to participate in the afternoon practice at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Coach Weiss understands that some of the Azkals have commitments to the Club League but he maintains that afterwards, they need to focus on their responsibilities to the national team.
The Azkals will have a practice game in Iloilo next week and hold a team bonding session in Cebu. In June, they will train for two weeks in Germany.
Star goalkeeper Neil Etheridge will arrive in Manila towards the end of May, while other Fil-European players like Anghel Guirado will join the team in Europe. Source