Tuesday, March 08, 2011

From Dan Palami

The following is a note from team manager Dan Palami. He posted the note before the team left for cold-weather training/acclimatization in Japan.

FOLLOWING the recent PSA awards, the Azkals start their Japan training this week still in high spirits. It was amazing to be recognized by great achievers in sports, and we thank Manny Pacquiao and all our other fellow awardees for their encouragement.

While most sectors have welcomed the Philippine's football renaissance, some concerns about the potential distraction of fame and celebrity for players have resulted in unfortunate controversies. I would prefer to keep silent on matters off the pitch, but some issues persist and these unwarranted doubts can’t be healthy for the team. As manager, therefore, I would like to categorically assure everyone that the coaches and I are taking all steps necessary to ensure that the Azkals always give their best. We are the first to call out any Azkal whose game is threatened by ‘distractions’ in any form.

With so many new aspirants for the national team, the competition for spots has become more intense, and I can tell you that the Azkals are working harder than ever. Every Azkal who has made it this far has earned his spot through hard work, talent, and ability to work well with the team. As long as each one fulfills his professional responsibilities, I wouldn't interfere in a player's personal life or bar him from undertaking projects in other fields.

The Azkals have endured so much to get to where they are now. All this time when they played for the Philippines, the Azkals would lose income because of time spent away from better-paying jobs. Compared to football players in other countries, our Azkals receive a mere pittance, and yet they play on. If admiration, endorsements and other opportunities are now coming their way, I hope none of us will begrudge them a little taste of their well-deserved victory. If they are able to build up football and other Azkals through exposure to other fields, I wouldn't withhold that from them either.

We respect everyone's opinion and accept that in some matters, there will be conflicting views. Still, we hope that any differences in perspective foster only healthy debate, and not degrade any individual or any other sport. As we prepare for our match in Mongolia, we hope to bring closure to polarizing disagreements and bring focus to what every sport is really all about: bridging differences and bringing people together.

Mabuhay tayong lahat!

1 comment:

Pam Lozada said...

I totally agree!As an Azkals fan i was shocked to hear about the recent controversies and intrigues. i just hope that our love for football, or any other sport, would enable us to unite in supporting not only the Azkals but other Philippine teams as well. Let's be united, not just during fights or games but everyday.
Be praying for Azkals victory in their upcoming game!..God bless!!..<3