Dooley says fitness issue hounds Azkals
Hoping to get fitness issues out of the way, national football team coach Thomas Dooley yesterday challenged the players who were called up for the Philippine Peace Cup to come to training camp next week in shape.
While some of his players are currently in Brunei with the national Under-21 team for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy as well as with Ceres-La Salle in Bacolod in preparation for the United Football League Cup, the rest of the team have been on a break since last month.
Dooley expects his wards to have done some individual work before they converge on Monday for the first time since the AFC Challenge Cup finals in the Maldives last May.
The Azkals open their title defense of the Peace Cup on Sept. 3 against Chinese Taipei at Rizal Memorial Stadium, before facing Myanmar three days later. Palestine will be the country’s last assignment on Sept. 9.
“I expect them to come in a decent shape,” Dooley said.
Dooley has recalled defender Rob Gier, Martin Steuble, Paul Mulders and goalkeeper Roland Muller for the tournament, part of the buildup up for the next major competition, the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.