Busy sked to make Philippine Azkals sharp next year | Inquirer Sports

Busy sked to make Philippine Azkals sharp next year

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 09:53 PM September 20, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—More international friendlies and possible matches against Europe-based clubs at home are in store for the Azkals next year under a schedule being prepared by the Philippine Football Federation.

PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta Tuesday said they will be capitalizing on the five international friendly matches to keep the Azkals sharp in preparation for the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Championships in December 2012.

During the PFF board meeting Saturday, Araneta also disclosed plans to invite English Premiere League side Fulham FC—the club of Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge—or another Premiership squad Blackburn for a friendly in June next year.

“We are at the planning stage but we really want to make these (matches) happen,” said Araneta, who was able to get in touch with a Qatar-based events management firm that has links with Fulham and Blackburn.

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The Azkals, now preparing for the Long Teng Cup in Taiwan late this month and friendly matches against Singapore and Nepal, will also play in January after the PFF accepted the invitation of Spanish third division club CF Madrid for a friendly between January 4 and 7.

Staging a friendly pitting the Azkals and reigning Asean champion Malaysia on February 29 will be a priority of the PFF as the national side prepares for the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal.

Araneta also announced an expanded role for Palami, who has been appointed head of the PFF marketing group during the board meeting.

Palami, who is also Leyte FA president, said he plans to package sponsorships for the Azkals and the PFF to make sure that the federation’s other programs will also get backers.

Palami will be joined in the marketing group by Laguna FA president Jun Pacificador and PFF treasurer Bonnie Ladrido.

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TAGS: AFC Challenge Cup, Azkals, Bonnie Ladrido, Dan Palami, Football, Jun Pacificador, Long Teng Cup, Mariano Nonong Araneta, Neil Etheridge, PFF, Philippines, Soccer, Sports, Suzuki Cup

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