Practice game vs Sweden highlights last preparation stretch for Filipinas
Hali Long sees no reason for the Philippine women’s football team to take a step back now that it is in New Zealand for final preparations before the Fifa (International Association Football Federation) Women’s World Cup campaign kicks off next week.
“We worked really hard to get to this moment and I mean the hard work is not gonna stop. We have a lot of work to do, still,” Long said after the Filipinas held their first training session on Wednesday in Auckland, where the team set up its base camp.
Slick conditions welcomed the team at Olympic Park after spending the first two days acclimatizing to the sunny-yet-cold weather, which is expected to be the same by the time the team’s World Cup stint gets underway against Switzerland on July 21 in Dunedin, New Zealand.
But before that, the Filipinas will give themselves a chance to have a feel of what they’ll face with a training match against Sweden, considered as one of the top teams in Fifa’s centerpiece tournament.
Sweden will feature players who are attached to some of the top women’s clubs in Europe, namely Barcelona, Arsenal, Chelsea and Wolfsburg.
Long believes that the match, which likely won’t be two 45-minute halves, will give the Filipinas the opportunity to know if they have made enough progress during the long lead-up.
Last three days
“We’re all excited for [our upcoming friendly] just to see where we’re at,” Long continued in a video posted by the team’s official Facebook page.
The Filipinas face Sweden on Monday in Wellington before spending the last three days finalizing its preparations for the opener.
“It’s about to be game time,” said Long. “So we really have to remember all the little details we’ve been taught along this 18-month journey we’ve had together.
“So it is all about the little details now. We have done all of our fine-tuning, but it’s finally time to prove and show what we’re made [of],” added the Filipinas cocaptain.