'End of an era' for Azkals as Younghusbands retire from football
Both Younghusband brothers, James (L) and Phil have retired from football
James Younghusband/File
'End of an era' for Azkals as Younghusbands retire from football
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - June 25, 2020 - 2:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — A new era for Philippine football is set to begin as Phil and James Younghusband have both hung up their boots.

James, the older of the two, announced his leave from the sport on Thursday after playing with the Philippine booters for 15 years.

Both Phil and James were instrumental in the rise of Philippine football since they came into the scene in 2005, after their eligibility for the national team was discovered.

The two England-born footballers joined the Philippine national football team in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games held in Manila as members of the Under-23 squad.

Since then, the they have become household names in Philippine football with the two brothers arguably the biggest faces of the sport in the country.

The Philippine Azkals had a slow but steady rise that can be attributed largely to the contributions made by players like the Younghusbands.

The brothers were also present in the Azkals' famed AFF Suzuki Cup win over then-defending champions Vietnam back in 2010, dubbed "The Miracle of Hanoi".

Phil and James registered more than a 100 caps for the national team in their long career.

James played a total of 101 games for the seniors team while Phil remains the most capped player for the Azkals with 108.

Their presence was also felt with their goal scoring with Phil, former captain of the Azkals, holding the title for the team's all-time top goal scorer with 52 goals.

For his part, James netted 12 international goals for the Philipppines.

Apart from international stints, the Younghusbands were also big contributors in the pro league scene in the Philippine Football League (PFL).

Both brothers suited up for PFL squads Loyola Meralco Sparks in the early 2010s and the Davao Aguilas later on.

James also recently played a season with PFL champs Ceres-Negros FC.

With both Younghusbands saying farewell to the sport -- at least as players -- younger football stars like Jarvey Gayoso will be the next in line to further develop Philippine football.

Both brothers, however, have expressed interest in possible Azkal coaching positions in the future.

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