Azkals U22 in Copa Alcantara serves as preview for 2019 SEA Games

The Philippines U22 squad’s opener in the Copa Paulino Alcantara served as a glimpse of what is in store for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) campaign this late November.

Speaking to the media after getting a 1-0 win in their first assignment against Green Archers United and finding themselves as early leaders in Group A, Azkals team manager Dan Palami shared his thoughts on the considerable number of spectators for the cup match that was held last October 27 in Aboitiz Pitch.

“I’m glad the fans came over and I’m happy that they got their preview of what is to come (this SEA Games).”

However, Palami was quick to point out that the list of players comprising the squad for the cup is not yet a confirmation that it will be a hundred percent the same come the biennial meet.

“I mean it’s not the final lineup yet. We’ll trim (the list) down to 20. We still have two players coming from the senior team (which will fill the slots for) the over-age players,” shared the Azkals’ boss.

During their opener last weekend, it was to note that the team expects additional players (at least two more) overseas-based who coming with the hopes of playing a part in the cup.

“Some of the players who are part of this (Copa Alcantara) team are yet to arrive, like Marco Casambre (of Thai club Chainat Hornbill) and Christian Rontini (of Italy’s Sangiovannese 1927).”

With a big pool of talents being considered for the final cut in the SEA Games, Dan Palami is expecting an intense battle for spots from the players.

“I think everybody can see that (each player) wants to play, that is why they are working hard to be part of the team,” Palami added further.

Under-22 assistant coach Ernest Nierras also stated on a separate interview that other players are also still in consideration for the final SEA Games squad, confirming that changes can still occur and nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the spots.

One particular player who has been a constant participant in the junior squad, but is not in the U22 lineup this Copa Alcantara is Ceres-Negros’ Dylan De Bruycker.

“(De Bruycker) wasn’t released by Ceres for this competition. That’s the only reason.”

Coach Nierras further informed that aside from De Bruycker, more players – overseas-based – are still in the process of being considered for the SEA Games squad who were not able to be part of the Copa simply because of their commitments with their respective clubs.

“There are still five players (based overseas) who are not here (that are being eyed).

“We are gonna field the best team that we can put together (for the Southeast Asian Games).”

The Azkals U22 are about to face their sternest test yet in their 2019 Copa Paulino Alcantara participation as they face undefeated league champions Ceres-Negros who are aiming to bounce back from their lacklustre draw in their cup opener against Mendiola FC. Match kicks off at 4PM in Binan Football Stadium.

Meanwhile Mendiola FC and Green Archers continue their cup campaign as they face off in Aboitiz pitch followed by Philippine Air Force and Stallion Laguna in an evening kickoff on the same venue.

Photo credit: The Azkals

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Azkals overseas: February 2019 weekend 4 fixtures

There’s a bit of a shakeup in the Azkals overseas lineup as Amani Aguinaldo and Luke Woodland join PKNP and Kuala Lumpur FA respectively in the Malaysia Super League.

Also, with the Thai League 1 beginning this weekend, it is going to be a pretty busy set of fixtures with the list of matches coming this week [all kickoff schedules are in Philippine Standard Time]:

Neil Etheridge [GK, Cardiff City FC – Premier League]

Cardiff City vs Watford – February 23 [Saturday], 3:45 AM

Daisuke Sato [DF, Sepsi OSK – Romanian Liga I Playoff]

Sepsi OSK vs Viitorul – Feburary 23 [Saturday], 1:00AM

Kevin Ray Mendoza [GK, AC Horsens – Danish Superliga]

AC Horsens vs Odense Boldklub – February 24 [Sunday], 9:00PM

John-Patrick Strauß [MF, FC Erzgebirge Aue – 2. Bundesliga]

Erzgebirge Aue vs FC Duisburg – February 24 [Sunday], 9:30PM

Hikaru Minegishi [MF, JL Chiangmai United – Thai League 2]

Sisaket FC vs JL Chiangmai United – February 23 [Saturday], 9:00PM

MALAYSIA SUPER LEAGUE

Joshua Grommen [DF, PJ City FC]: PJ City FC vs Kedah FA [Home] – February 22 [Friday], 9:00PM

Patrick Reichelt [MF/FW, Melaka United]: Johor Darul Ta’zim vs Melaka United – February 23 [Saturday], 9:00PM

Luke Woodland [DF/MF, Kuala Lumpur FA]: Kuala Lumpur vs Terengganu – February 22 [Friday], 9:00PM

Amani Aguinaldo [DF, PKNP FC]: PKNS vs PKNP – February 23 [Saturday], 9:00PM

THAI LEAGUE 1

Amin Nazari [MF], Manuel Ott [MF] – Ratchaburi Mitr Phol: Ratchaburi Mitr Phol vs Trat FC – February 22 [Friday], 9:00PM

Marco Casambre [DF], Adam Reed [MF] – Chainat Hornbill vs Mark Hartmann [FW, Suphanburi FC]: Chainat Hornbill vs Suphanburi – February 23 [Saturday], 7:45PM

Stephan Palla [DF], Javier Patino [FW] – Buriram United: Buriram United vs Chonburi – February 23 [Saturday], 8:00PM

Iain Ramsay [MF, Sukhothai FC] vs Michael Falkesgaard [GK, Bangkok United]: Sukhothai vs Bangkok United – Feburary 24 [Sunday], 7:00PM

Photo credits: PKNP FC Instagram, Kuala Lumpur FA Instagram

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A full Azkals squad now playing in Thailand

With midfielder Adam Reed’s joining with Thai League 1 club Chainat Hornbill, Thailand now has a full squad of eleven Filipino internationals playing in its football leagues.

Here is the list of Filipino footballers now signed with Thai clubs:

  • Javier Patino – Forward, Buriram United
  • Mark Hartmann – Forward, Suphanburi FC
  • Iain Ramsay – Winger/Midfielder, Sukhothai FC
  • Manuel Ott – Midfielder, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol
  • Amin Nazari – Midfielder, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol
  • Adam Reed – Midfielder, Chainat Hornbill
  • Hikaru Minegishi – Midfielder, JL Chiangmai United [Thai League 2]
  • Stephan Palla – Defender, Buriram United
  • Luke Woodland – Defender, Buriram United
  • Marco Casambre – Defender, Chainat Hornbill
  • Michael Falkesgaard – Goalkeeper, Bangkok United

Here’s how the Azkals 11 in Thailand would look like if lined up as one team [3-5-2 formation]:

Seeing the wealth of talent, it’s a pretty decent and competitive lineup that could very much stand to-to-toe against other clubs or teams.

Photo credits: Bangkok United, Buriram United, Ratchaburi Mitr Phol, Chainat Hornbill

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Azkals midfielder Adam Reed joins Thai League 1 club Chainat Hornbill

Philippine Azkals midfielder Adam Reed gets acquired by Thai League 1 club, Chainat Hornbill, for the 2019 season.

The move means he becomes the second Filipino player in the club’s ranks along with Marco Casambre who was signed earlier.

The two players have formerly been with Davao Aguilas before the Filipino club pulled the plug on its professional team.

Information on this development first came out from Adam Reed himself through an Instagram story last morning of February 7, 2019 in the Thai province of Chai Nat [where the club is based], wearing the club’s training outfit.

A day later, February 8, Adam Reed’s acquisition has been finalized after completing a medical.

Adam Reed has been one of the main players of Davao Aguilas’ commendable performance during the 2018 PFL season when the club was almost able to win a silverware, only to come up short against Kaya FC Iloilo in the final of the inaugural Copa Paulino Alcantara.

The Filipino midfielder is a product of Sunderland AFC’s youth setup and has played on loan for renowned English clubs such as Portsmouth and Leyton Orient.

On the Philippine Azkals front, the versatile midfielder has been on legendary head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson’s rotation during the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 and the historic AFC Asian Cup 2019 campaigns, either as a starter or as a substitute.

Chainat Hornbill FC formally begins its 2019 Thai League 1 campaign on February 23, 2019 against Suphanburi FC which also has Filipino international Mark Hartmann in its squad.

Chainat Hornbill FC is already not new in hiring the services of Filipino footballers, as they already happened last 2018 when they signed forward Chima Uzoka who previously played for PFL clubs such as Ilocos United and Global Cebu.

Adam Reed’s addition makes it a total of ten Filipino players currently plying their trade in the Thai League 1.

Photo credit: Kieron Tan

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OFFICIAL: Marco Casambre unveiled by Thai club Chainat Hornbill

After initially suiting up for the Thai League 1 club Chainat Hornbill in a friendly, former Davao Aguilas defender Marco Casambre was formally unveiled by his new club as its 2nd ASEAN player signing for the 2019 season on January 22.

It was initially reported that Casambre played in a friendly preseason scrimmage last January 12. Ten days later, his inclusion in the squad is now a done deal.


The acquisition has a potential to be a major coup for the Chai Nat Province-based club as Casambre is a 20-year-old footballing savant with his first senior cap for the Azkals earned just before turning 18-years-old when he impressed then national team head coach Thomas Dooley in the latter part of 2016.

This move also is a milestone of sorts as it makes Marco Casambre the first homegrown Filipino footballing talent to join a Thai League 1 outfit.

Before playing for Davao Aguilas which, unfortunately, have withdrawn its senior team from competing in professional football, Casambre has been a regular starter for Global Cebu where he was able to amass a significant amount of experience in the pro ranks, especially when the club competed in the 2017 AFC Cup and the Singapore Cup.

The 2019 season of Thai League 1 begins on February 22, 2019 and Chainat Hornbill will most definitely aim to improve by leaps and bounds from their previous season’s performance when they barely avoided relegation due to a better head-to-head record against Bangkok Glass [now known as BG Pathum United] as both ended their respective campaigns with an identical 42-points haul in the table.

Photo credit: Chainat Hornbill Facebook Page

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Azkals defender Marco Casambre suited up for Thai club Chainat Hornbill in preseason friendly

Senior capped 20-year-old Filipino defender, Marco Casambre has featured as a starter for Thai League 1 club Chainat Hornbill last January 12, 2019 in a friendly preseason game against League 2 outfit Nakhonpathom United.

ภาพบรรยากาศแข่งขันนัดอุ่นเครื่องระหว่าง นครปฐม ยูไนเต็ด – ชัยนาท ฮอร์นบิล ที่สนามโรงเรียนกีฬาเทศบาลนครนครปฐม…

Posted by CHAINAT Football Club on Saturday, January 12, 2019

The former Davao Aguilas FC player can be considered as back in the market after the Mindanaoan club opted to dissolve its senior team in-line with the major changes in Philippine professional club football landscape.

His stint with the Thai club could only be a trial though, and not yet a done deal, as there have been no official announcements yet from any of the club’s official media channels that the Filipino has been signed or acquired already.

It is to note though that Marco has not been caught in the club’s photos of their subsequent training session and preseason friendly encounter against Khonkaen United last January 18, 2019.

Photo credit: Chainat Hornbill Facebook Page