Stephan Schrock joins Azkals tuneup vs Bahrainis
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Stephan Schrock makes his return to the national team as the Philippine Azkals play Bahrain in a friendly in Bahrain to kickstart their preparations for both the coming AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2019 Asian Cup.

Schrock, the Fil-German midfielder who missed a lot of the Azkals’ games over the last two years as an offshoot of his rift with former coach Thomas Dooley, was among the 23 players called up by current mentor Scott Cooper for the Pinoy booters’ Sept. 6 tuneup against the Bahrainis at Bahrain Nation Stadium in Riffa.

The Ceres Negros dynamo joins fellow balik-Azkals Luke Woodland of Thai side Suphanburi and teammate Amani Aguinaldo, who are back after getting sidelined by injuries, and Angel Guirado of Malaysian club Negiri Sembilan, in the squad that gets its baptism of fire with Cooper at the helm.

Fresh from his historic debut in the Premier League, Cardiff City stopper Neil Etheridge reunites with the Azkals along with overseas-based Daisuke Sato of Romanian club Sepsi Sfantu Gheorghe, and Pika Minagishi and Stephan Palla of Thai sides Pattaya United and Buriram, respectively.

Skipper Phil Younghusband of Davao Aguilas leads the Philippine-based crew that includes Carli de Murga, Junior Muñoz, Paul Mulders, Manny and Mike Ott, Patrick Reichelt, Adam Tull, Dylan de Bruycker, Curt Dizon, Patrick Deyto, Louie Casas, Ace Villanueva, Fitch Arboleda and Joven Bedic.

The first batch of the pool left for Bahrain last Monday with the remaining players set to fly in the coming days.

Phl XI is in Bahrain for a training camp and a pair of friendlies to get things rolling for its  buildup for the November-December Suzuki Cup, where it is bunched with holder Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and the winner of the qualifier between Timor Leste and Brunei, as well as its succeeding milestone debut in the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE.

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