Filipinas open California camp

Filipinas celebrate the goal of Hali Long against Vietnam during the AFF Women’s Championships semifinals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, July 16, 2022. Photo by Rio Deluvio

The national women’s football team kicks off its preparation for its first assignment against New Zealand in the September International Football Federation window.

Filipinas tactician Alen Stajcic said her wards are training in California as they want to build stronger momentum for a busy month before the FIFA Women’s World Cup draw on 13 October.

The Australian mentor said around 27 lady booters have started their training in Los Angeles and are tipped to battle the Ferns Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium on 6 September.

Led by skipper Tanhai Annis, Olivia McDaniel, Hali Long, Katrina Gillou, the AFF Women’s Champions are also joined by newcomers like Reina Bonta and Kaiya Jota.

Prized striker Chandler McDaniel has already joined the camp after recovering from a gruesome anterior cruciate ligament tear she suffered in the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year.

It will be the first time that the Philippines will battle New Zealand, which is Australia’s co-host for the quadrennial bootfest next year.

“We’ve been looking forward to this camp after a memorable and unforgettable AFF campaign,” Stajcic said in a statement.

“The match against New Zealand, ranked No. 22 in the world, will provide stern competition and build on the experience we have in the team.”

“We have five new players set to come in as we look to further strengthen thezteam and increase depth leading into 2023.”

With a loaded lineup, Filipinas manager Jeff Cheng is confident that their camp and upcoming battle with the Kiwis will test the solid team chemistry that cruised them to a historic AFF Championship in Manila.

The Filipinas are also expected to battle Costa Rica, Uzbekistan and Jamaica in a tri-nation tourney within this month.

“Overseas camps and arranging matches are always challenging. But this is something that needs to be done for the team’s improvement,” Cheng said.

“Our journey requires sacrifice from the players and the staff and the cooperation of everyone involved in our organization.”


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