Azkals top-scorer and ‘Living Legend’ Phil Younghusband retires from football

Right at the eve of the Philippine Azkals’ World Cup 2022 qualifier match against Syria, the country’s best goalscorer ever, Phil Younghusband, announced his retirement from the beautiful game which he posted via social media.

After a lengthy absence from football beginning on the end of the 2018 Copa Paulino Alcantara when his club Davao Aguilas lost in the final against Kaya FC Iloilo, which was further lengthened after being married and adjusting to the new lifestyle, it seems one of Philippines’ most recognizable sportsmen decided to hang up his boots for good.

The 32-year-old Filipino footballer was born in Surrey, England to a Filipino mother and an English father, and along with his older brother James Younghusband, began their young career within famous London-based club Chelsea FC’s youth ranks before embarking on and blazing a trail towards a fruitful and influential career in the Philippines beginning in 2009, playing with San Beda FC, Loyola Meralco Sparks (later known as Meralco Manila), and Davao Aguilas.

But Phil Younghusband’s biggest contribution to Philippine Football is his involvement with the Azkals which started in 2007 when he, along with brother James, decided to represent their mother’s roots, the Philippines, in international competition from the U21 side up until the senior squad.

A reliable and confident finisher in front of goal, Phil eventually racked up goals almost at will until amassing 52 conversions under his name which became the most scored for the Philippines in history.

His most important moment for the Philippines was scoring the second goal in the 79th minute against hosts Vietnam in the group stage of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, a major upset that has been dubbed as “Miracle of Hanoi” which then further boosted the country’s already newfound renaissance in international football.

Such was the immensity of his contributions to the squad that he also became the most capped player ever for the Southeast Asian nation with 108 in total.

An unexpected surprise

After Phil’s post, an outpouring of reactions and plaudits immediately came in reply from fans and colleagues alike, most especially from the football community such as former teammates and coaches.

Photo credit: The Philippine Football Federation

Azkals veteran Angel Guirado signs for Chonburi FC

After a stint with Malaysian club Negeri Sembilan, Filipino forward Angel Guirado completed a move to Thai League 1 club Chonburi FC in the midseason transfer window.

34-year-old Guirado’s deal was confirmed late Friday, July 19, which will serve as a frontline reinforcement for the remainder of the domestic season in Thailand and where he will join compatriot Curt Dizon.

A journeyman with an extensive list of tenures with different clubs from different parts of the globe, his experience will serve to be one of his best contributions to the club which is aiming to improve on their current mid-table position.

Before his stint with Negeri Sembilan, he was with Filipino club Davao Aguilas which last competed in the 2018 season of the Philippines Football League.

Guirado also has been with the Philippine National Football Team’s senior squad, The Azkals, where he was able to score nine goals in 34 appearances.

Chonburi FC is schedule to play a match tonight, July 20, against Suphanburi FC. Kickoff is at 8:00PM (9:00PM Philippine Time).

Photo credit: Thai League


Filipino international Josh Grommen officially unveiled by Thai club Sukhothai FC

After a brief sojourn with Malaysia Super League club PJ City FC, defender Josh Grommen completes a move to Thai League 1 outfit Sukhothai FC as confirmed by both the player and the club last Tuesday, July 17, 2019.

Grommen’s addition makes him the second Filipino player in the squad as he joins Azkals winger Iain Ramsay who joined in the previous transfer window.

High level details regarding his length of stay with the club is for the remainder of the current 2019 season with an option for an extension for another year.

Prior to his tenure in Malaysia, Grommen also played for Ceres-Negros from 2017-18 in which he was part of the champion squad that won the inaugural PFL season followed by a season-long stay with Davao Aguilas in 2019.

In his formative years as a footballer, he also played for the youth teams of Loyola, Brisbane Roar and Stallion Laguna. He also was part of the Western Pride squad for 2016-17.

From an international football perspective, the 22-year-old defender whose main role is the centerback position had earned caps for the Philippine U-22 and U-23 squads.

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Kickin some balls ⚽️

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If given a chance to step onto the pitch, Grommen will be tasked to help his team finish strong and climb up the standings away from the dangers of relegation (Sukhothai currently stands in 13th place out of the 16-club league which is just one spot above the drop-zone).

Sukhothai FC will next face Samut Prakhan City FC at home on Sunday June 21 at 8:00PM local time (9:00PM Philippine Standard Time).

Photo credit: Sukhothai FC Facebook page


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


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


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


Azkals’ Josh Grommen joins Malaysia Super League club MISC-MIFA

According to a report, current Azkals U-23 and former Davao Aguilas defender Joshua Grommen formally joins Malaysian Indian Sports Council-Malaysian Indian Football Association [MISC-MIFA] for the 2019 Malaysia Super League [MSL] season.

MISC-MIFA are scheduled to formally unveil their Filipino signing tomorrow Wednesday, January 15, although the actual deal has been signed already as of late December of 2018.

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Dreams take you places 🌟#kl #travel

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The 22-year-old Azkals U-23 international usually handles a defensive role and is deployed mostly as a centre-back and will most probably be assigned the same for his new club.

Before his stint with Davao Aguilas last 2018, Josh Grommen played for Ceres-Negros FC where he was able to be a part of the squad that won the first ever domestic league title last 2017.

MISC-MIFA are currently in the midst of their preseason preparations with a series of scheduled friendly matches ahead of the Super League’s commencement on February 1, 2019. MISC-MIFA kick off their campaign with a league fixture on February 2, 2019 against Melaka United.

Joshua Grommen will play under head coach Devan Kuppusamy who also was a former player and an international for Malaysia before becoming a multi-titled mentor.

MISC-MIFA play their home matches at Petaling Jaya Stadium, located in the city of the same name in Selangor, Malaysia approximately 17 kilometres west of Kuala Lumpur.

Photo credit: Joshua Grommen Instagram