No more dreaming: Long feels Filipinas have earned their stripes
More than a year since achieving the unreachable with a historic International Football Federation Women’s World Cup berth, Hali Long feels that she and the Philippine women’s football team are no longer in dream land.
“It feels less surreal and becoming more and more real,” she said on Thursday as the countdown for the biggest showpiece of women’s football continues.
“Having more presscons, having more brand sponsorships [since qualifying for the World Cup], it’s all kind of laying into place,” added Long after the Filipinas sealed a four-year deal with Adidas as their kit sponsor.
It’s one of the rewards the lady footballers are reaping since that January 2022 night in India when the Philippines beat Chinese-Taipei via shootout in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Asian Cup sealed the biggest achievement ever by any of the country’s national football squad.
Coupled with other feats the previous year, the Filipinas formally begin their final lead-up to New Zealand with next week’s Pinatar Cup in Spain where they’ll be up against Wales, Scotland and Iceland.
While expectations from the local football community are obviously high given the achievements of 2022, Long would like to see the Filipinas take calculated steps.
“We have big shoes to fill, really big expectations from outsiders,” said Long. “[But] we just need to be realistic of our expectations within the team, goals within the team and stick to that.” INQ
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