THE PHILIPPINE national football team, better known as the Azkals, is looking to fortify its roster for its World Cup qualifiers campaign with the return of Cebuano-British Chad Alesna Gould to the team's training pool.
His mother, Antoniette ?Baby? Alesna Gould, confirmed that her son left London yesterday midnight and is scheduled to arrive in Manila today. He will immediately hit the pitch for the Azkals? training camp tomorrow.
Gould was a member of the Philippine team since 2004 and is best noted for scoring the winning goal in the Azkals' 1-0 triumph over Bhutan in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup in 2009.
He has also been actively supporting the grassroot programs in football in his mother's hometown in Boljoon town, southern Cebu.
Gould left the team last year because of his commitment as a professional beach soccer player of the England Club.
In an email, Gould said that he had wanted to re-join the Azkals when he got an invite from former PFF president Mari Martinez for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup last year. But he was not able to do so because of matters that were out of his control.
This year, Gould was once again invited for the AFC Challenge Cup by Azkals team manager Dan Palami. But since they still had to secure permission from his current club, he was not able to make it.
Gould wrote that it has been a dream of his to play for the Philippines at an international level, most especially in the World Cup.
Gould's return to the Philippine team comes with a high price as he was supposed to leave with the England beach football team for Mauritius on May 10 for the All-England Beach Soccer Tour.
According to his mother, Gould was extremely excited when he got an invite to join the Azkals in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers. But he also felt sad because joining the Azkals meant he would miss out on the tour.
Gould stated that his England manager understood his desire to play with the Azkals and that the door would always be open for him when he returns to England.
As part of the Philippine football team, Gould scored six international goals in 13 games before he left the team last year.