Full-strength squad to be unleashed as Azkals brace for Nepal duel

By Olmin Leyba

Azkals officials look delightfully forward to Philippine XI’s international friendly against Nepal on Oct. 11, excited over the prospect of unleashing a full-strength squad in front of their countrymen at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

“I’m very, very happy since it’s the first time since I took over that we will have a full squad,” said Azkals’ coach Michael Weiss, who assumed the reins last January.

Europe-based pros Jerry Lucena, Dennis Cagara, Paul Mulders, Stephan Schrock, Neil Etheridge, Ray Jonsson and Rob Gier, who couldn’t join the Azkals in previous sorties due to club commitments or injuries, will all be at Weiss’ disposal in the 7 p.m. friendly against the Nepalese.

“We have a very nice team. We have to show fans that we deserve the respect with a fantastic performance,” Weiss said.

“We will see the true potential of the team,” team manager Dan Palami said, for his part. “It’s really a rare opportunity to have the guys to come together and will allow Filipino fans see what the team is really capable of.”

The Azkals (half seniors, half Under-23) are currently competing in the Long Teng Cup, a four-nation tournament, in Kaohsiung, Chinese-Taipei. They were slated to play the host Taiwanese last night in their second assignment.

After the Long Teng Cup, the full-bodied Azkals will fly to Singapore to play a friendly on Oct. 7 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore before returning to Manila for their home match against Nepal. Published in The Philippine Star