The Filipinas will leave no stone unturned this year as they face a busy season ahead.
Among which is the quest for gold in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia this May.
The leadership of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has high hopes for the Filipinas to step up given the sustained intensive training, extensive international play, and past track record of the team.
"We have a very real chance right now for our national women's football team in the Cambodia SEA Games given its preparations and our committed and competent coaching staff," said PFF general secretary Atty. Ed Gastanes on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum in Manila.
Besides the Philippines, Gastanes noted that reigning SEAG champion Vietnam is the country's toughest challenger.
But the Filipinas are in high spirits, which had been built after a silver finish in the 31st SEAG in Hanoi last year, as they clinched their first ever AFF Women's Championship trophy last July 2022 on home soil.
"After the Filipinas captured the AFF Women's Championship trophy last year, they are really looking forward to bagging another medal, if not the gold," added the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) official.
Prior to their stellar performance in front of the home crowd, the team qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup by reaching the semifinals of the AFC Women's Asian Cup in India last January 2022.
Their victorious campaign included an empathic 4-0 win over vaunted Vietnam in the semifinals.
The Filipinas would not be likely up for tune-up games before the SEAG since it has a slew of international competitions lined up.
The No. 53 national squad will kick off the year against ranked No. 16 Wales, ranked No. 21 Scotland, and ranked No. 25 Iceland starting February 15 during the 2023 Pinatar Cup in Spain.
Come April, the Filipinas will plunge into action in the first round of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers, where they are grouped with Hong Kong, Pakistan, and Tajikistan, in Group E.
With the highest world ranking among the four teams, Gastanes was guardedly optimistic the Philippines would advance to the second round of the Asian Olympic qualifiers in October.
After the SEAG in May, the Filipinas will compete in the FIFA Women's World Cup slated from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
The PFF hopes to organize a tri-nation tournament for the Filipinas before they fly off to represent the country in the blue-ribbon football competition for the first time ever, he added in the session supported by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The Filipinas are bracketed in Group A together with the Ferns, as the New Zealand squad is called, Norway, and Switzerland.
They are also expected to see action in the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games slated from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 in Hangzhou, China before possibly winding up their hectic competition schedule to defend their AFF Women's Championship trophy back home in November.