MANILA (16 June 2012) – To make sure that they get only the best players for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 this November, the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) are even looking at compensating clubs to secure their release.
With a handful of Philippines players currently plying their trade in Europe and elsewhere, PFF president Nonong Araneta said other than looking at having training camps abroad to mould the team, the federation is also looking at compensating the European clubs to release players to the national team.
“We’re prepared to put up the best team, at whatever cost,” said Araneta.”If we make proper representations to their clubs, I think we can (have the players released). We should convince them that if the players will just be sitting on the bench during those times, it would be better for them to release the players and we hope (they will act favorably on our request).
“If we can compensate for their services, then we’ll do the costing and talk to the clubs.”
But at the same time too, the PFF are not just crossing their fingers and hoping that the European-based players will turn up for the November competition, where at the same time they are giving more international playing time for those players playing in the local league in the Philippines.
The PFF are looking at training camps in Thailand and Hong Kong to give the players further exposure and broaden the pool for the national side.
“Our intention is for all of the players to be available for the AFF Suzuki Cup. But on one hand, I have instructed the coach to work on the worst-case scenario, that the Europeans might not be available. So the key now is to have more locally-based players in the team and practice as often as we can,” said Philippines national team manager Dan Palami.
“The locally-based players who might not get exposure in playing against the ‘A’ team of other countries will get their time, helping them achieve confidence, and team cohesion and match fitness that we would need prior to the AFF Suzuki Cup. Of course, if and when the European players come, then that would be an added bonus for us.”
Philippines made the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 when they beat defending champions Vietnam 2-0 in Hanoi.