MANILA – First there was the Azkals introduced in full flight at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 while last month, the Philippines Football Federation (PFF) introduced the teen Azkals at the AFF Under-16 Championship in Vientiane, Laos.
And next month in Yangon, Myanmar, the PFF are ready to unveil the Musangs – the acronym which has been given to the Philippines U19 squad to carry their challenge for the AFF U19 Championship.
The tournament is slated for 8-21 September 2011.
“The Musang (civet cat) is stealthy and ferocious, and very resourceful when challenged,” said team manager Charlie Cojuangco. “These are the characteristics which a football team needs to succeed.”
The Musang programme is under the direct supervision of Cojuanco – a former congressman of the Negros Occidental 4th District while the chief coach of the team is Maor Rozen from the Royal Spanish Football Federation and the Uruguayan Football Association.
Over 600 aspirants attended the trials held in Tarlac, Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Davao before the number is trimmed to just 20 players.
“We are not under pressure of any expectation,” added Cojuangco, “except the expectation that we will give the best in everything that we do.”
Other than preparing the team for the age-group competitions, Rozen added that the Musangs will be a good training ground to supply players to the U23 and then on the Azkals.
AFF UNDER-19 CHAMPIONSHIP
Group A: Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia.
Group B: Brunei, Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam.