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Fil-Aussie defender Angie Beard fortifies Filipinas in WC

FIL-AUSSIE defender Angie Beard, a former Australia player, is excited to complete the switch and help the Filipinas make a splash in the coming FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

Ms. Beard, whose mother hails from Cebu, previously suited up for the Matildas in three friendlies but chose the Alen Stajcic-mentored Filipinas for her potential WC debut instead.

“I’ve known Staj (Alen Stajcic) for a little while now. I think we met when I was 16, 17, 18…He’s a great coach, left a great impression on me, and (was) a big factor as to why I came over here to the Philippines,” she said.

Mr. Stajcic named Ms. Beard to the 29-player pool that’s currently training in Sydney ahead of the Filipinas’ historic appearance in the WC (World Cup) beginning July 21 against Switzerland in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Ms. Beard is expected to bring a wealth of experience from her stints with current club Western United and former teams Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory in the A-League Women as well as KR and Fortuna Hjorring in the top-flight leagues in Iceland and Denmark, respectively.

The 25-year-old said she is jelling well with her Filipinas teammates, with whom she first trained with back in October 2022 in a previous training camp in Costa Rica.

“The girls are not only talented footballers but they’re very welcoming, very friendly,” said Ms. Beard.

“And the fan group, the community, the Philippines have really accepted me and supported me in a way that makes me feel valued and respected as a player. I’m really excited to be here.” — Olmin Leyba

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