Y’husbands part of initial Suzuki Cup pool
Newly-appointed Philippines coach Sven Goran Eriksson has called up 29 players led by veterans Phil and James Younghusband and Neil Etheridge for training camp in preparation for the 2018 AFF (Asean Football Federation) Suzuki Cup, which begins Nov. 8 in two countries.
The Azkals, a three-time semifinalists in the regional competition, won’t see action until Nov. 13 when they clash with Singapore at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Arguably the most high-profile coach to handle the national team, Eriksson put the Azkals through the paces in their first training session at Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna on Sunday.
The Swede brings plenty of experience and quality to the Azkals brain thrust, having handled powerhouse England in the 2006 World Cup and also coached the national teams of Mexico and Ivory Coast.
The Azkals are flying to Bacolod on Tuesday for the final stretch of their preparations for the tournament, which they are aiming to win for the first time.
Cardiff City goalkeeper Etheridge and fellow veterans the Younghusbands brothers are part of the squad, which will be trimmed to just 23 players a few days before the tournament.
The three players were part of the team that beat Vietnam in the 2010 tournament, which sparked the sport’s resurgence in the country.
The biennial competition was founded in 1996 as the Tiger Cup after the Singapore-based Asia Pacific Breweries.