MANILA (21 Sept 2011) – The Philippines national team is set to play a string of friendlies including against big European teams this year and also in 2012 as they look forward to put up a bigger challenge for the next edition of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
Philippines created a stir last year when they made the semi-finals of the biennial championship and where following that sterling performance ensured their place in the final round and avoid having to play in the qualifiers.
“We are at the planning stage but we really want to make these (matches) happen,” said PFF (Philippines Football Federation) president Mariano Araneta this week.
Araneta said that the PFF will be capitalizing on the five international friendly windows next year to keep the Azkals sharp.
Dan Palami, the Philippines national team manager who was recently appointed as chairman of the PFF marketing group, announced that among the teams they planned to play against in 2012 are Fulham FC or Blakburn Rovers from the English Premier League and also a Spanish third division side.
Other than playing in the Long Teng Cup in Taiwan at the end of the month against hosts Chinese Taipei, the Philippines national side will also take on Macau and Hong Kong.
Next month, the Philippines have drawn up games against Singapore and Nepal as they also look forward to playing against the reigning ASEAN champions Malaysia on 29 February 2011.