By Alaric Gomes | Gulf News |
Michael Weiss, the coach of the Azkals, is hoping to line up a pool of talent as the Philippines sets sights on some international-level football for the first time in history.
“If we wanted to, we could have played against a weaker team and won. But we chose a strong side like Uzbekistan simply because we wanted these young boys who normally don’t have a chance to get the experience of playing at a very high level,” Weiss told media after the Azkals went down 0-3 in their friendly late on Saturday.
“Our aim is to develop our home-grown players, and hence this defeat doesn’t harm us as our eyes are on the March 9 match [against North Korea in the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal],” he added.
“We are expecting a few of our professional players to join us for the Challenge Cup next month. So the idea now is to develop a parallel line of players to further the development of Filipino football.”
Weiss has the luxury of having quite a few of his Azkals play professionally all over Europe, prominently Stephan Schrock (Greuther Furth); Jerry Lucena (Frankfurt); goalkeeper Neil Etheridge (Fulham) and Dennis Cagara (AGF).
“At the moment we are starting to integrate the younger players like Angel Guirado, Marwin Angeles and Juan Luis Guirado. We are creating options so that we can dig deeper into a pool of players,” Weiss said.