The Philippine national men’s football team revealed late Thursday the names of the players who will be taking part in its training camp in Qatar in preparation for a joint continental qualifying tournament set for next month.
Twenty-five players were named from which the final roster of the Azkals seeing action in the joint 2022 International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup and 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup qualifiers in Suzhou, China, beginning June 3, will be culled from.
The team will first train in Qatar until the end of May before heading to the tournament proper.
Called up for national team duty were goalkeepers Neil Etheridge, Bernd Schipman and Kevin Ray Mendoza; and defenders Carlie De Murga, Alvaro Silva, Luke Woodland, Jesper Nyholm, Martin Steuble, Jefferson Tabinas, Mar Diano, Niko de Vera and Michael Kempter.
Also in the list are midfielders Stephan Schrock, Patrick Strauss, Iain Ramsay, Gerrit Holtmann, Raphael Obermair, Patrick Reichelt, Oliver Bias, Jarvey Gayoso, Matthew Baldisimo, Mark Winhoffer and Lloyd Fagerlie; and forwards Mark Hartmann and Angel Guirado.
Messrs Schrock and Etheridge were named captain and vice-captain, respectively.
The first batch of players flying from Manila left for Doha late Thursday while the other players called up flying in from different parts of the world will meet the team there.
The Philippines is currently at third place in Group A of the qualifiers with seven points from a 2-1-2 record, behind Syria (5-0-0) with 15 points, and China (2-1-1) with seven.
Maldives (2-0-3) and Guam (0-0-5) round out the group.
The Azkals last played in the qualifiers in November 2019, losing to Syria (1-0) in Dubai.
Scheduled qualifying matches of the team in 2020 failed to push through because of the pandemic.
The Philippine men’s football team is to face Guam on June 3, then China on June 9, and Maldives on June 15.