Coach Alen Stajcic has faith that the Philippine Women’s National Football Team will have a breakthrough in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.

/ 25 December 2021

With the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup hosted by India just one month away, the  Philippine Women’s National Football Team is working tirelessly in their camp in Los Angeles, USA.

Members of the national team and Philippine Football Federation personnel shared updates on the current status of the squad during a virtual press conference on Tuesday morning. 

Former Australian national team coach Alen Stajcic commended the spirited and positive company that the Filipinas have and how driven they are ahead of their campaign in the Women’s Asian Cup this coming January 2022.

“There are so many positives within this group. It’s such a good group. It’s such a united group that I’ve noticed,” Stajcic said. 

“They’re all aligned and driven to succeed as one and that’s what we have to do to give ourselves every possible chance of getting one of those spots for the World Cup,” he continued.

The Philippines will be seeing action in the  AFC Asian Cup in India from January 20 to February 6, where it will face world No. 11 Australia, world No. 38 Thailand, and world No. 94 Indonesia in Group B.

The country aims for a maiden berth in the Women’s World Cup, where there will only be five spots that will compete in the highest-ranking women’s football tournament.

Though considered underdogs coming into the tourney, the Filipinas are definitely unfazed and up for the challenge.

“The squad that we have right now has been really great. It’s nice to have a little bit of consistency from our last campaign being so close and now we kind of have a core group and we’ve been able to bring in players kind of from all over (the world),” midfielder Tahnai Annis opined. 

“We’ve been training for five weeks now and I think the team has really been able to gel a little bit more than we’ve ever been able to because this is the longest amount of time all of us have spent together training consistently and it’s really starting to show. I’m really excited for the squad that we have and I think we can do really well if everyone is able to be 100 percent and give everything we have,” he added.

On the other hand, the 48-year-old football veteran is positive that the girls will win and qualify for the quadrennial football tournament. 

“When you come from a base of very little and I remembered the team at the last Asian Cup struggled to score against the big countries but were still very competitive. Overall, for a first appearance in a long time, the team showed it could at least sort of compete,” said the former Central Coast Mariners mentor.

“The starting point for me of any team that I’ve coached is always the same – how are we going to find a way to win the match? I always start with a positive point of view. What do we have to do to win that match?” he continued.

The majority of the team is now currently training in Irvine, California, where they have been competing with numerous professional teams in the US to get in shape. 

“I’ve been to two Asian Cups now and this will be my third Asian Cup so I know if we put our best foot forward that this team is capable of achieving this dream we’re talking about,” Stajcic added.