“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”
After the successful run the U-22 national team had in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, where a 2 goal difference in the final reckoning stood between them and a semifinal berth, the next step in the journey for Philippine football’s ascendancy has been unveiled in the form of the Azkals Development Team.
Comprised mainly of the core from that SEAG side, losing only the overage members in Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo, the ADT program aims to bridge the transition between youth level and senior football, while allowing for the current batch of eligible players for the 2021 SEAG to hone their skills and chemistry together while being trained in a professional environment, possibly reinforced by certain senior players and promising players at the under-18 level.
According to sources, the coaching staff of the senior national team will be tapped to run the squad, and the club will be run in a fully professional manner, with an emphasis on playing in a fast and skillful manner. Young players with good speed and a solid technical base are highly encouraged to step up and be counted.
Long-term, the aim of the ADT program is to be the capstone of a fully-fleshed out development ladder for Philippine football, providing a pathway from youth football all the way to the senior national side, and to give the grassroots programs in the country a goal to aim their development efforts to, while developing a real connection with the Philippine football fanbase as well.
The ADT management team will be opening trials soon, with announcements coming out via their social media channels, and would like to extend an invite to qualified players to come and show their skills to the coaches and management.
Photo by: The Azkals