Filipinas, PH women’s football team, start training in Australia for SEA Games
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Women’s National Football Team (PWNFT) headed to the Land Down Under with a new moniker to begin their preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in May in Hanoi, Vietnam.
On Thursday, March 31, 2022, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) announced that moving forward the PWNFT will go by the name “Filipinas,” replacing its former moniker the “Malditas,” as was suggested by the team’s former head coach Marlon Maro last year.
The Filipinas began their long and grueling preparation for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup by joining their head coach, Alen Stajcic in Australia last Wednesday, March 30, 2022, for the FIFA window on the first week of April.
“It (“Filipinas”) is simple and nationalistic. Our athletes are Filipinas. They are strong-willed, determined, passionate, and driven by the goal to represent not just themselves, but the country,” said the Filipinas team manager Jefferson Cheng in a post from PFF’s official website.
Cheng also stated that all of the relevant parties recognized that, as the PWNT steps into football’s biggest stage, it was not appropriate to continue using a monicker with negative connotations in large parts of the world.
“We trust that Filipino football fans will understand and support this decision,” said Cheng.
The Filipinas which made a historic feat in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India earlier this year by reaching the semifinals and qualifying in the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time will have a series of friendly matches in Australia.
The highly-motivated Filipinas who recently catapulted to their highest FIFA rankings in history at No. 54 is scheduled to face Fiji on April 7 and 11 in Sydney.
They also have their training camp based in Sydney where Stajcic is currently residing. The team will stay in Sydney until May before the SEA Games.
“It is crucial that the team gets as much time as possible to prepare. We hope that the work put in on this camp will bring great results in the upcoming tournaments,” Cheng stated.
Cheng, the long-time sponsor, and manager of the Filipinas and the PFF are leaving no stone unturned in preparing the team for the 31st SEA Games and other international tournaments leading to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Together with our team manager Jefferson Cheng, the PFF is here to make sure the team will go to every competition as well prepared and fit as possible. “We look forward to seeing the Filipinas represent the country again when they return to action this April as they prepare for the SEA Games,” said PFF president Mariano Araneta.
“Our Filipinas realized the dream of every football fan in the country when they qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They will always have our all-out support,” said Lawyer Edwin Gases, PFF secretary general.
The players that are now in Australia are made up mostly of those who played for the team in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
The team’s roster is comprised of Maya Taylor Alcantara, Tahnai Annis, Kristen Bugay, Anicka Castañeda, Malea Louise Cesar, Alisha Clare Del Campo, Isabella Flanigan, Kiara Fontanilla, Carleigh Frilles, Katria Guillou, Sofia Harrison, Kaya Hawkinson, Hali Long, Eva Madarang, Chantelle Maniti, Olivia McDaniel, Jessica Miclat, Inna Palacios, Carla Portillo, Quinley Quezada, Dominique Randle, Kathleen Rodriguez, Jaclyn Sawicki, Tara Shelton, and Karlene White.
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