Younghusbands await 'Azkals' callup'
MANILA, Philippines -- After being omitted from the Azkals' lineup in the recently held Philippine Football Peace Cup, football players Phil and James Younghusband said they now only wait for a "call-up" to play again for the Philippine national team.
"That's up to the management. We're always available, we're waiting for that call-up. We're looking forward, if we're getting a call-up to play with the team again," said James, Azkals midfielder, during a press conference for an endorsement launch held Tuesday.
"We've been following the team all week, and we just like to wish Coach [Hans Michael] Weiss a big congratulations. I think they did a great job in the Peace Cup," James added.
"The team and himself are off to the Middle east, and we wish them all the best," he said.
After their title victory in the recently held Peace Cup, the Philippine Azkals are heading to the Middle East for a training camp, which includes friendly matches with the teams from Bahrain (Oct. 12) and Kuwait (Oct. 16).
The matches serve as the Philippine football team's final stage of preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
For their part, Phil said: "We're happy, we're busy. We're leaving for Singapore, for the Singapore Cup."
The Younghusbands, who also play for the Loyola Meralco Sparks of the United Football League (UFL), will compete in the semi-finals of the 2012 Singapore Cup in late October.
It can be recalled that their being players for Meralco as well as the Philippine Azkals was pointed as among the reasons the Younghusbands were dropped from the Peace Cup line-up.
In late September, Phil said the "friction" with their fellow Azkals players started when the Philippine football team played an exhibition game against Meralco, where the brothers suited up for the UFL club.
In a statement, the Azkals management and coaching staff explained that commitment issues led to their decision on the Peace Cup roster.
"We have asked the players to give their unequivocal commitment to participate fully in the preparations... We expect our players to work harder than ever this year," they said.
However, the brothers on Tuesday maintained that they have nothing but respect for the Philippine Azkals, and were all praises for the the team's Peace Cup victory, sans their participation.
"We're happy, we're all Filipinos," Phil said. "We want the team to win, we're happy for our teammates. We're super proud of them. We want to play with them again soon."