• Azkals to train in Bahrain for AFC Challenge Cup

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    The Philippine Azkals men’s football team will train in Bahrain May 6 to 16 as they intensify preparations for the 2014 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Maldives on May 19 to 30.

    Dan Palami, the Azkals team manager, believes the team is starting to embrace the new system of American coach Thomas Dooley, a former US national squad team captain and World Cup veteran.

    “The Azkals have improved a lot under coach Thomas and we hope to see this improvement bear fruit in the Challenge Cup,” said Palami. “Our players have a better understanding of the role they have to play in their respective positions under Dooley’s system.”

    The Filipinos are bracketed in Group B in the eliminations together with Turkmenistan, Laos and Afghanistan, while Group A is composed of the host Maldives, Kyrgystan, Myanmar and Palestine.

    The Azkals begin their stint against Afghanistan on May 20, followed by a game against the Laotians two days later before ending the elimination round against Turkmenistan on May 24.

    The member of the Azkals expected to join the training camp are Phil and James Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong, Angel Guirado, Merwin and Marvin Angeles, Patrick Deyto, Carli de Murga, Jason de Jong, Jerry Lucena and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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