Malditas upbeat as Asean football gets goingBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine women’s football squad hopes to make its mark in the Asean Football Federation Championships kicking off Thursday in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The Malditas hope to improve on their performance last year, where they failed to advance from the group stage.
Coach Ernie Nierras is upbeat on the Malditas’ chances after infusing some new talent to the side that will be led by veteran Marielle Benitez.
“If we don’t make it to the semifinals, we will be disappointed,” said Nierras, who left for Ho Chi Minh with the rest of the team last Monday.
Nierras has switched Fil-Am Heather Cooke from defender to striker.
“I’m hungry for goals,” said Cooke. “It helps that I just want it. I’m not the conventional forward but I’m scrappy and I work hard.”
Newcomer Ashley O’Connor will take over Cooke’s spot at the backline. Also in the team are Patrice Impelido, Sam Nierras and Natasha Alquiros.