Stephan Schrock, Paul Mulders proud Filipinos
COLOMBO—They may have sterling club football careers, but for Stephan Schrock and Paul Mulders, nothing beats the feeling of representing the Philippines.
Schrock, a Filipino-German rightback who is one of the brightest talents in the German second division, and Fil-Dutch Mulders, who recently inked a two-year deal with Dutch first division team ADO Den Haag, will be making their debuts for their mothers’ country when the Azkals play Sri Lanka today.
“I am very proud to wear a Philippine shirt and I’m sure my nanay will also be proud,” the soft-spoken Schrock, whose mother hails from Cotabato, said in an interview with the Inquirer.
Schrock, a former German national Under-17 and Under-20 player who played with the likes of World Cup veterans Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil, has long been coveted by the Azkals, but a knee injury forced him out of the lineup in the AFC Challenge Cup in Myanmar last March.
Mulders’ entry to the team came as a surprise. He was referred by a friend to the Azkals’ management team, through social networking site Facebook, only last month and left Amsterdam for Manila immediately after signing with ADO.
Mulders is a starter in the last three Dutch teams he has played in and once scored against powerhouse Ajax at Amsterdam Arena.
“I’m happy that I’m here with the team,” said the 30-year-old Mulders, who, like Schrock, lost his father recently. “I really want to help.”
Mulders said he was ready to skip the early part of ADO’s training camp for their Europa League campaign just to be with the Azkals for the July 3 match in Manila.
Azkals coach Michael Weiss and manager Dan Palami have welcomed their inclusion in the squad.
“Schrock is a fantastic player,” said Weiss, who has deployed the fleet-footed Fil-German as a defensive midfielder alongside another Fil-German, Manny Ott.
“Mulders will help us with his experience,” said Weiss. “It’s kind of risky [deploying him on defense], but from what I saw yesterday, he is really good.”
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