Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fair Play: Little Azkals eye Italy camp

WHAT do the Pinoy footballers based abroad have that the guys who learn football locally don’t?

“It’s the experience of a different football culture,” PFF technical director Aries Caslib said during the Board of Governors meeting last January.

To address that gap, Caslib proposed a unique idea—give the most promising young footballers in the country that experience. Train them abroad, and more importantly, expose them, at a young age, to competitions abroad.

Our youngest national team—the U13—is looking at that route and has been invited to have a one-month training camp in Italy. The Scoula Clacio Giaocomo Tedesco has invited the team to a camp and will shoulder everything once the squad gets to Italy, but the team still needs to shell out P3 million for its airfare.

This could have been a huge problem in the previous PFF administration, but the current one got the cash to finance this experiment, so should they push through with it?

I hope they do, and if they push through with it, I hope it won’t be a one-and-done affair. Let’s give this young squad all the overseas exposure it can get—maybe make this a two-month camp for the next five years?

SEAG 2013. Unlike this year’s team, which didn’t really have a chance to play competitive matches before the SEAG, the 2013 team will have, as its first tune-up tournament, the Hassanah Bolkiah tournament in Brunei in February next year.

Dan Palami told me that their stint is confirmed and as to the coaching position, he is currently looking at the CVs of prospective coaches for the U21.

What makes the Bolkiah Cup an important tournament is that Brunei, which will shoulder accommodation and internal transportation, is inviting all Asean countries to join.

And as an U21 competition, the Asean countries are expected to field the teams that will play in the 2013 SEA Games, so we get to gauge the competition—and spot our disadvantages and advantages—20 months early.

Based on the 20-man lineup for this year’s SEAG, the players who are still eligible are Mark Hartmann (1992), Matt Hartmann (1991), Jingo Valmayor (1992), Raymark Fernandez (1991), Jeff Christaens (1991), Marwin Angeles (1991), OJ Porteria (1994), Paolo Pascual (1991), Joshua Beloya (1991), Patrick Hinrichsen (1991), Mark Drinkuth (1991), Jacques Van Bossche (1992), Chris Camcam (1994). [Additional] Many Ott (1992).

Note that Jason de Jong (1990), isn’t eligible for the Bolkiah Cup but is eligible for the 2013 SEAG.

It’s great that this time, the management will really give the team the preparation it needs.

GINEBRA Kings held Alaska Aces scoreless for about five minutes in
the fourth period to pull off an 85-77 win Wednesday in the 37th PBA
Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
A tight defensive job by Nino Canaleta, Jay-Jay Hilterbrand and Ronald
Tubid doused cold water to the Aces’ offense as they limited Alaska to
only 12 points in the pivotal period en route to their fifth win in 10

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