MANILA (15 Sept 2011) – Experienced defender Heather Cooke will be the heartbeat of the Philippines women’s defensive backline for the AFF Women’s Championship 2011 in Vietiane, Laos next month.
Cooke is but one of several foreign-based players in the squad where her experience of having plated for Loyola Marymount in the United States, will hopefully make the difference to the side which lost all their matches in the same competition in 2009.
“I’m the kind of player who will give everything for the team for 90 minutes,” said the 22-year-old defender, who had previously played four seasons in the NCAA in the US.
And at 5-foot-9, the towering presence of Cooke for the backline will give chief coach Ernie Nierras ‘options that they never had before.’
The squad that will compete in Vientiane on 16-25 October 2011 will have an average age of just 20-years-old.
Two years ago in Myanmar, the Philippines lost all their matches – a 0-11 lost to Vietnam, 0-14 to Australia and then 1-5 to Myanmar B.
“Now is the time to shine for us,” said Nierras this week.
“Hopefully, this (tournament) will jumpstart women’s football same as what happened with the men’s team.”
The captaincy of the Philippines women’s team will go to Marielle Benitez.
PHILIPPINES WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
Heather Cooke, Marielle Benitiez, Samantha Nierras, Stephanie Peasant, Patrice Impelido, Mallory Dayot, Cristina Keuter, Lorrene Bayani, Nenita Burgess, Inna Palacios, Maan del Carmen, Louella Amamio, Isabella Fernando,Jowee Barruga, Marice Magdolot, Natasha Alquiros, Nikki Regalado, Joma Clemente, Bettina Yang, Jane Pacana, Camille Rodriguez, Aiza Mondero, Zipporah Luna, Marie Magdolot, Pricilla Rubio, Kyra Tagbo, Angel Metillo.
AFF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 GROUPINGS
Group A: Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos
Group B: Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines