Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Ex-national players, Fil-Ams boost Azkal training camp - malaya

Posted by chardyboy on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 0 comments

source: BY BONG PEDRALVEZ

FORMER national players Leigh Gunn and Chad Gould were among those who reported as the Philippine Azkals opened their training camp at the Alabang Country Club inside Ayala Alabang in Muntilupa City last Tuesday, according to national team manager Dan Palami.

Aside from the two veterans bidding to play for flag and country in the Asian World Cup opening round series against Sri Lanka on June 29 in Colombo, some Fil-am prospects also reported for the camp, Palami said yesterday.

After being washed out by typhoon "Bebeng" last Monday, the camp-cum-tryouts began with Fil-Ams Nathaniel Burkey and Neil Ignacio also joining the group.

A native of Sydney, Australia, Gunn, 30, began his national team stint in 1999 playing under then national coach Juan Cutillas in the qualifiers of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and again in the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup qualifying tournament.

Although he wants to play upfront, Gunn, who played for Fraser Park in the Australian League, was often used as a defender by Cutillas.

Gould, 28, a Fil-British, last played for the Philippines in the 2009 AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives with a team mentored by Aris Caslib.

A native of Croydon, England, Gould’s most memorable outing for the Azkals was during the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualifying competition in Iloilo where he scored a goal in the nationals’ 3-0 rout of Bhutan.

In that tourney, the Filipinos wound up with two wins and a draw–a fight-marred scoreless standoff against then defending Challenge Cup champion Tajikistan–but failed to advance to the next round. Tajikistan advanced on better goal difference.

Burkey, 26, and striker Ignacio, a United States Development Academy trainee, were among those picked by national team co-captain Aly Borromeo and defender Anton del Rosario when they held tryouts in Daly City last April 9 and 10.

Ignacio, 17, saw action for the LA Galaxy Academy team that toured England in 2010. That tour was highlighted by a 1-2 loss to the Manchester City developmental team led by Frederic Vesseli, skipper of the national side that won the 2009 Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria.

"It’s still too early to tell how those trying out will fare," said Palami, who was pleased by the showing of 24-year-old Fil-Iranian Misagh Bahadoran, a member of the Global Smartmatic squad that competes in the United Football League.

"Misagh impressed (us) with his dribbling skills but it is still premature to say if he will make it all the way."

A no-show was Fil-Dutch defender Jason de Jong, who reportedly is keen on rejoining the team despite straining his relationship earlier with national coach Hans Michael Weiss, who was displeased with his attitude.

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