New faces for Azkals
The Philippine Azkals will have a new coach and a new player when they hold their training camp next month in Bahrain.
Irish coach Scott Cooper will be handling the Azkals in their first game in the post-Thomas Dooley era. With several injured mainstays and a newcomer securing necessary documents to finally suit up for the national team, Cooper could have a different squad from the one that played against Tajikistan in March to gain 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification.
Azkals manager Dan Palami said midfielder Amin Nazari, an Iranian with Filipino roots, is expected to be available.
Nazari, a gifted midfielder who has played for Sweden’s Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 teams, is the younger brother of Ceres-Negros midfielder, Omid Nazari, who has already been capped by Iran.
The Azkals are leaving Manila on Sept. 3 with a showdown against Bahrain slated three days later in Manama. In fine form for Cardiff in the English Premier League, Neil Etheridge has already signified his intention to join the camp. —CEDELF P. TUPAS
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