Bahrain friendly kicks off Azkals’ World Cup qualifier buildup
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines begins its buildup for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers in late March with a training camp and a friendly match possibly against a team from the Middle East in Bahrain.
With the match against China no longer on, Azkals coach Thomas Dooley Tuesday said he felt it was best to have his players train together and play just one match during the Fifa international window this month.
“Some of players have a game in the league, and we needed to travel and then play and sometimes it doesn’t make sense [because they are tired],” said Dooley at the launch of the fund-raising campaign for the team dubbed Small Change Big Change.
Dooley, who returned from Germany early last month, has remained tightlipped on the prospects expected to bolster the team starting this year.
The Azkals start World Cup Qualifying in June and they have partnered with supermarket chain, Puregold, in their latest move to raise funds for their campaigns overseas.
The fund-raiser involves the placement of donation cans in key commercial establishments and stores.
Azkals manager Dan Palami, who has bankrolled the team since 2010, welcomed the development even as he thanked Puregold for being the first establishment to “embrace” the campaign.
“We’re quite happy that some of the fans of the Azkals have taken their support a step further and that is to actually and completely help management especially myself in defraying some of the costs of the Azkals through this initiative,” Palami said.