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Azkals on track for AFF Suzuki Cup


22-Aug-2012
A two-week training camp in the United States has sharpened the Philippines as they prepare for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November, according to coach Michael Weiss.

Although they lost 3-1 to Premier Development League side Chicago Inferno in their only full-scale match, Weiss said the fitness levels of the players had improved markedly.

"We could already see how the hard training pays off in such a short period of time," he told the media in the Philippines. "(But) there will be a lot of sacrifices (still) to be made in the next three months."

The influential sibling duo of Phil and James Younghusband missed the camp along with several Europe-based players but Weiss said that this allowed the likes of Demitrius Omphroy and Matthew Uy to shine in training.

The intensive sessions also gave co-captain Aly Borromeo a chance to work on his fitness after an injury setback

A key figure in the international set-up for the best part of a decade, Borromeo underwent surgery last October after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.

He returned to action for club side Kaya in May but strained his knee.

"I kind of got too overeager to play right away towards the end of the United Football League season so I got this minor setback," he said. "I just have to be sure on my recovery and look towards longevity in my career."

Weiss said that the 29-year-old Borromeo was still in his plans for the AFF Suzuki Cup but he would not be rushing him back into the team.

The Azkals have a busy schedule ahead of them in early September with friendly matches against Cambodia (September 5), Singapore (September 7) and Laos (September 10).

They will compete in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup with games against three-time champions Thailand, 2008 winners Vietnam and the top team from the qualifying tournament.