MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Musangs, the country’s national under-19 football team, arrived in Manila Monday night from Bacolod.
The team is managed by former congressman Charlie Cojuangco and coached by Maor Rozen, previously from the Spanish Football Federation.
We have been working with these players since 2 months ago. In Vietnam only we will work out the tactical aspects of the game. Our goal is only to try to develop new players for the future national teams, under-21, under-23, maybe Azkals. This must be the goal of the youth teams of the Philippines,” Rozen said.
“For our team, all the teams are stronger, it means this tournament will be very hard for us. We will try to compete and to do the best that we can, but we will play hard because we will be competing against teams that have been working since 3-4 years ago,” he added. “We will try to do the best we can. No secrets in football… we work very hard… to try to compete.”
Captains Leo Carlo Liay, Ali Mahmoud, and Fitch Johnson Aviz Arboleda lead the 20 players, who were selected from over 600 applicants in try-outs conducted across the country.
“Ang support namin yung kami yung nag-form ng team para sa AFF, we conducted 6-8 tryouts, from Tarlac to Davao City, tapos yung ibang players na napili na pinayagan pumunta sa training camp, dinala namin sa Negros, sa Bago City, dun sila nag-stay for 6 weeks,” said Cojuangco. “May program kami for their training with the coach, so ngayon paalis na kami papuntang Vietnam. Kailangan namin ng mga laro.”
The Musangs will leave Tuesday morning for Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
They will compete in the Asean Football Federation U-19 Championship that will be held from September 8 to 21, in Yangon, Myanmar.