• Azkals brace for Peace Cup, Suzuki Cup

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    The members of the Philippine Azkals during a press conference hosted by ABS CBN Sports at the Outback Steak restaurant in Glorieta Mall, Makati City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    The members of the Philippine Azkals during a press conference hosted by ABS CBN Sports at the Outback Steak restaurant in Glorieta Mall, Makati City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    PHILIPPINE Azkals’ head coach American Thomas Dooley announced to reporters in a press conference on Tuesday that his wards would resume their training soon in preparation for the upcoming Peace Cup in September and the Asean Football Championship Suzuki Cup in November.

    While some of the Azkals members will go back to their respective United Football League squads, Dooley encourage the members of the team to maintain their closeness and familiarity with each other.

    “We have a lot of things to improve and we need to gain a lot of confidence. I believe those things are achievable,” Dooley said. “I need to get all the players closer enough and have familiarity with each other. The next step is to win more games.”

    Dooley commended the team for displaying a winning attitude during their campaign in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Maldives last week, where the Philippines achieved a historic championship appearance.

    The Philippines suffered a 0-1 decision defeat to Palestine in the finals, but finishing second surpassed the previous third place achievement that the team got two years ago under its then head coach German Hans Michael Weiss.

    “Our coach did a good job of letting us understand our respective roles in our team,” said veteran Azkals striker Phil Younghusband, who was joined by his elder brother James at the table. “I’m excited to get back to training.”

    The Peace Cup will be hosted by the Philippines on September 1 to 9 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, while the Suzuki Cup will be held in Singapore and Vietnam as co-host from November 22 to December 20.

    “We are going back to our training sessions first before focusing on those tournaments,” concluded Dooley.

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