PHILIPPINE Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta expressed confidence the national football teams will do good in the 30th Southeast Asian Games kicking off on today.
Araneta, who saw action in three SEA Games tournaments from 1977 to 1983, believes the Young Azkals and Malditas are armed with enough preparation to deliver a strong showing.
“We expect some hidden gems to be unveiled,” said Araneta. “I am confident that our players will be able to seize their chance and show there is continuous improvement in Philippine football.
“We have young players who are products of the grassroots programs of their respective provinces as well as foreign-based players with experience so there is a good balance to our team,” said Araneta. “The SEA Games is really a good opportunity for us to showcase our young talents.”
Araneta visited the Young Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last Saturday and told them: “As an athlete, there is no greater honor than representing the country. You wear the flag of the Philippines with pride. I know that you’re prepared and we expect you to give everything for the country because you are playing at home. I’m confident you’ll do well. We thank you for your sacrifice.”