Azkals hope to bring in new recruits
Don’t be surprised to see a slew of new faces donning the national football team’s colors next year.
With their first competitive tournament still in the middle of next year, Azkals manager Dan Palami yesterday said they will once again refocus their efforts on recruiting young and quality players for the national side seeing action in the first quarter of 2015.
The need to strengthen the side was underlined after the Azkals narrowly missed out on the AFC Challenge Cup title in the Maldives last May and bowing out in the AFF Suzuki Cup early this month
“We really see the need to improve all areas in the team if we want to reach the next level,” Palami said. “It won’t be easy, but if we can focus our efforts on recruiting young players, then we are on the right track.”
Palami is training his sights on finally securing the services of Mike Ott, the younger brother of midfielder, Manny Ott, who was among the outstanding Azkals players in the Suzuki Cup.
The younger Ott, 19, plays for FC Nurnberg in the second division in Germany.
He was called up by former Azkals coach Michael Weiss for the friendly against Hong Kong in June last year, but the attacking midfielder wasn’t fielded in what was a highly-physical affair at Mongkok Stadium.
Azkals coach Thomas Dooley has already expressed his interest in tapping Mike Ott.
Also high on the Azkals’ wish list is Australia-based Iain Ramsay, who has yet to commit for the Philippines despite numerous attempts to get his services.
Although he is also eligible to play for Australia, Ramsay considers playing for the Philippines a “great option.”
The Azkals are also awaiting for touted defender Alvaro Silva to finally secure his passport and play for the team in the World Cup Qualifiers.