By Jonas Terrado
Long-term plans are now in place for the national men’s U-22 football team despite falling short of making the semifinals of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Team manager Dan Palami said he has sought the permission of the Philippine Football Federation to allow the Young Azkals to compete in the Philippines Football League to allow the program to continue all the way to the 2021 SEAG in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Palami added that 12 players are still eligible for the next edition of the biennial meet with slew of young talent also on their radar.
“This is the start of the continuous process,” Palami said after the Philippines’ 6-1 win over Timor-Leste in Binan, Laguna. “I’ve asked the permission of the PFF to continue with the program and put our under-22s and under-23s to join the league and continue with this development.
“With the shortlist that we have, there are about 12 players still eligible for the next SEA Games so we have a strong pool now and we need to continue nurturing them,” he added.
The Philippines had its best chance of making the semis for the first time since the 1991 Games on home soil when it posted two wins, one draw and one defeat in the group stage.
But a loss to Groupl A winner Myanmar in the second game of the competition coupled with the big goal difference by eventual semifinalist Cambodia proved to be too difficult to overcome for the Young Azkals.
Yrick Gallantes, Dennis Chung, Justin Baas and Jarvey Gayoso were among the main cogs for the Young Azkals while being reinforced by senior team members Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo as the team’s overaged players.
Tags: #SEAGames2019, 30th Southeast Asian Games, Amani Aguinaldo, Azkals, Dan Palami, Dennis Chung, Jarvey Gayoso, Justin Baas, Philippines Football League, SEA Games, Southeast Asian Games, Stephan Schrock, Yrick Gallantes