| MANILA (24 Sept 2008) – Dutch-based Jason De Jong will be playing for the Philippines for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 qualifiers which will be held in Cambodia on 17-25 October, 2008.
The 18-year-old De Jong currently plays for the U-19 team of NAC Breda in the First Division of the Dutch League.
“It is a great honour to play for the Philippines. I was invited to play for the Holland U-19 team but I declined it,’’ said De Jong, whose mother Melba Dantes, is a Filipina from the province of Tarlac while his father John is Dutch.
“I can play anywhere, as a striker, right midfielder and defender. But my best position is central midfielder.”
Philippines will be up against Laos, Cambodia, Timor Leste and Brunei in the qualifiers where only the top two teams from the round-robin competition advancing to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 in December.
De Jong’s decision to don Philippines colours could not have come at a more opportune time considering rumours abound that the two Younghusband brothers – Phil and James – are not likely to see action.
However, the Philippines can still count on the services of Chris Greatwich, who will be bringing along his 19-year-old brother Simon, and also Neil Etheridge, who plays as a goalkeeper for Fulham reserve.