The Philippine National Football Team will fortify its lineup with young booters when it battles Australian club Perth Glory FC at the Quirino Stadium in Ilocos Sur on July 26.
“We have a young group of players training with some senior players,” coach Aris Caslib said.
Caslib is the assistant coach of the Azkals and is the technical director of the Philippine Football Federation.
Caslib explained that some of the more familiar Azkals will skip the game because their respective clubs did not release them.
He added that he believes that the scheme will be good for the development of younger players in the national team pool that are gearing up for the Suzuki Cup.
“The younger players are hungry also because they always want to be part of the Azkals team. On one side, it’s a good motivation for them if they are selected and called up to play,” he said. “Essentially, the main feature of this team is to identify potential young players right now and whether they can help assist the team in preparation for the Suzuki Cup. That’s the main plan.”
Calib expects tough opposition from the Australians, “We’re expecting a strong challenge from Perth. They are in their last stage of preparation for their league so definitely they are at a certain level of preparedness,” he said.
Caslib stressed that despite the temporary absence of head coach Thomas Dooley, they are still in constant communication on adjustments regarding the team’s system.
“Everything is in consultation with Thomas Dooley on a day-to-day basis. So he knows what we want to achieve primarily to test young generations of players. That’s the main idea,” he concluded.