Azkals’ Weiss cautious but hopeful in SEAG

ABS-CBN News

Philippine national football team head coach Michael Weiss will not put too much pressure on his young team, but is also hopeful that the PH XI will have a good showing in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Indonesia.

The Azkals Under-23 team left for Jakarta Tuesday in the hopes of bringing home the country’s first ever medal in SEAG football.

“Please give us not too much pressure on our shoulders, on our young shoulders,” Weiss said before leaving, noting that he has “a very very young team.”

“It is an under-20 team more than an under-23 team,” he said, adding that 15 of the 20 players going to Indonesia this year will still be eligible in the 2013 edition of the SEA Games.

The Azkals spent a week-long training camp in Japan, and Weiss says they are still expecting 4 more players from Europe to join them in Indonesia.

“Our support is full and we are positively thinking about this tournament,” he said.

“The team’s spirit is fantastic, we have very talented players. I hope with every match we get better. Whatever comes out we will see and we will take it one game at a time,” Weiss added.

The Azkals will open their campaign against a higher-ranked Vietnam side, but Weiss says they are prepared for the challenge.

“We have ideas on how to play against that team, we are not scared. We are very positive,” he said.

Weiss hopes that the Azkals will defeat Brunei in their last match in the first round.

“With a win, we can secure the 2nd place,” he said.

The young Azkals will be led by Jason de Jong, along with brothers Mark and Matthew Hartmann.

They are expected to get a boost from Fil-German midfielder Manny Ott, who decided to join the team in the campaign. Published in ABS-CBN News