MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine national football team is scheduled to hold a one-week training camp in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain to jumpstart their bid for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
After the originally scheduled bout against China was cancelled in the early weeks of February, the Azkals’ management opted to fly to Bahrain to train and possibly have a friendly with another Gulf country during the March 23 to 31 FIFA international match dates.
“Bahrain has been very gracious in hosting the Azkals before and they have agreed to host us again at the end of the month,” said team manager Dan Palami.
Meanwhile, head coach Thomas Dooley stressed that he thinks that it will be best to have only one friendly during the international window to give the players an ample amount of time to train together.
“We don’t have a game in the first days because we want to train together. Some players have a game in the league and then they have one day off and then we travel and have a game. That doesn’t make sense.”
Players who play for the domestic United Football League are to be released by their clubs for national team duty on March 21, as per the league’s calendar.
Also, Dooley explained that they expect to play a game with a yet-to-be-announced national team from the Middle East during the last days of their overseas training camp.
The former USA skipper, who is fresh from a trip to Europe, stated that he had conversations with some of the new Azkals prospects but declined to announce who the players are adding “we have to wait until everything is done.” – Rappler.com