Resilient Cagara boosts Azkals
MANILA—Dennis Cagara is as resilient as they come.
Injuries may have left the Fil-Danish on the freezer for most of the past four years.
Finally at 100 percent, he’s hoping to return to his old, brilliant form and help take the Philippine Azkals to greater heights.
“I’m not as quick as I used to be,” said the 26-year-old Cagara, who once completed a 30-meter sprint in 3.2 seconds during a drill before the injury bug hit him.
“But I have a lot of experience. I’m willing to take responsibility and be a positive influence in the team.”
Cagara’s career has gone up-and-down after a spate of injuries forced him to miss two years of action.
But instead of sulking and quitting the sport altogether, the leftback who made his German Bundesliga debut as a 19-year-old against powerhouse Bayern Munich, soldiered on, hoping to make up for lost time.
It’s the kind of no-nonsense mentality he hopes will further boost the Azkals’ improvement.
“It’s been difficult these past few years,” said Cagara, who has hopped on from one club to another in Denmark after an impressive stint with Hertha, which he helped stave off relegation from the Bundesliga, in 2004.
“I still believe I think that I can go to the level where I want to go,” added Cagara, whose father hails from Dulag, Leyte.
Cagara’s addition not only gives the Azkals a solid cover at the problematic leftback role but also more attacking juice.
A player with a penchant to go on overlapping runs, Cagara gives the Azkals another threat on the left aside from Chieffy Caligdong.
Cagara said the Azkals can only get better in the years to come with a solid core. Fellow Fil-Danish player Jerry Lucena agrees.
“I saw a lot of development in the team,” said Lucena who missed the World Cup Qualifers because of club commitments. “It’s only going to get better.”
“We believe in the team that’s why we are here,” said Cagara.
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