Stacjic to make painful cuts as Filipinas pool balloons

Coach Alen Stajcic (center) answers questions during the presscon together with (from left) goalkeeper Inna Palacios, team manager Jefferson Cheng, defender Hali Long and U-20 head coach Nahuel Arrarte

Coach Alen Stajcic (middle) solutions questions in the course of the presscon along with (from left) goalkeeper Inna Palacios, staff supervisor Jefferson Cheng, defender Hali Lengthy and U-20 head coach Nahuel Arrarte. —FRANCIS T.J. OCHOA

Coach Alen Stajcic sees the following weeks and months main as much as the Philippine ladies’s soccer staff’s historic participation within the Fifa (Worldwide Federation of Affiliation Soccer) Ladies’s World Cup as each thrilling and difficult, significantly with the duty of getting to take care of one massive dilemma.

“We now have a pool of about 30 to 35 gamers,” Stajcic mentioned on Wednesday when the Filipinas held a late afternoon press convention at Acacia Resort in Alabang, Muntinlupa Metropolis.

“And the hardest a part of this journey is gonna be that 10 to 12 gamers who’ve been with the squad, and have been part of the common squad are usually not gonna be chosen for the World Cup.”

However plainly Stajcic has a great drawback in hand, with the variety of expertise he has and massive tournaments in line earlier than heading to New Zealand for the worldwide showpiece of girls’s soccer.

“It’s an thrilling time, nevertheless it’s additionally gonna be a difficult time for the workers and the gamers, to get the very best out of themselves for the upcoming World Cup, which is by far the most important event in soccer,” he mentioned.

February would be the begin of the busy highway the Filipinas will take, first with matches in opposition to three international locations from the UK—Wales, Eire and Scotland—within the Pinatar Cup in Spain adopted by the opening spherical of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers reverse inferior sides Pakistan, Tajikistan and Hong Kong.

Instant goal

After which the Filipinas will try to make historical past within the month of Could, hoping to safe a primary gold within the Cambodia Southeast Asian Video games the place they’re seen as favorites after defeating Vietnam and Thailand on their approach to successful final yr’s Asean Soccer Federation Ladies’s Championship.

Throughout that course of, Stajcic expects challenges throughout the squad in hopes of getting a crack to see motion in July’s World Cup, which is able to pit the Philippines in opposition to co-host New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland.

“We’re attending to that stage the place they’re gonna push one another for [those roster] spots,” Stajcic mentioned. “To me, that’s the central high quality of the staff, to push one another collectively, to have the ability to push one another in coaching, and compete in opposition to one another. Finally, we’ll discover the identical qualities and I feel that’s one other huge issue on this staff, that we have now obtained to a degree the place there’s 30 gamers.

“I feel we’ve seen in the course of the course of the yr, no matter who’s enjoying, you’ll see the identical mentality, the identical philosophy, the identical motivation and drive from the gamers and, to a sure extent, the extent of efficiency. I’m actually proud that we’ve obtained to that degree,” he added.

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