Araneta puts Palami in charge of SEA Games football team
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) will work hand-in-hand with the management team of the men’s senior side to come up with the most formidable squad yet for the Southeast Asian Games late this year.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta told the Inquirer on Thursday that national team committee chair, Dan Palami, who also serves as Azkals team manager, will head the efforts to form a team that hopes to secure a first medal for the country in the event.
Under pressure following the spate of unremarkable results at the age-group level, Araneta hopes the Under-22 side will deliver a better outcome at the end of the biennial meet.
“We can’t just come up with a hastily formed team because all of the countries in Southeast Asia always prepare their teams in the SEA Games,” Araneta said. “Some countries consider gold in men’s football as the most important in the meet.”
Men’s football will have 11 countries disputing gold, while eight teams are listed for the women’s competition.
Araneta said the PFF will be holding tryouts within the next few weeks to determine the homegrown players for the squad. Several prospects for the Azkals who are within the age cutoff will also be considered for selection.
The PFF chief hinted at utilizing the Fifa international window to get the players working under coaches of the senior side as well.