Malditas to train abroad for AFC Women’s Cup
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — In the midst of their three-month training in the US, the Philippine Malditas said they fully embrace the sacrifices they have to make to prepare themselves for their big stint in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

“It’s weird being away from home and not having the vibe of the Philippines, but this is the sacrifice asked of us to represent the flag,” said Inna Palacios, one of the seven Phl-based players who committed to the intensive US camp ahead of the tournament set April that serves as qualifiers for the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

“It’s important to push through adversity. We all come from different places and having us altogether for this camp helps us bond and get some team chemistry which will hopefully show on the field,” she added.

The Malditas had made it to the Continent’s showpiece for the first time under the current qualifying format and they feel good about their chances going up against host Jordan, eight-time winner China and Asean rival Thailand in Group A.

The Pinay booters need to make the semis or at least finish fifth best in the Asian meet to clinch a historic place in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

“I’m very excited with the journey ahead of us. We’re already one foot in making it to the World Cup, so we need to perform our best in April to get both feet in for the World Cup,” said Cam Rodriguez.

“And it’s the World Cup we’re talking about! That’s something every footballer can ever dream to be participating in! Personally I’m in this a hundred percent, nothing less. I’m looking forward to learning from my coaches, teammates, opponents, and the whole experience. At the end of the day, this is for the betterment of Philippine football, especially for the women’s game,” she added.

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has tapped an American coach, Richard Boon, to handle the team in this mission.

“It’s great that we’re able to start preparations early. This preparation will be very crucial because it’s only three months before the tournament. Team chemistry will be very important,” said Patrice Impelido.

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