De La Salle University women’s football head coach Hans Smit couldn’t be prouder seeing his wards become a part of the Philippine women’s national football team pool vying for spots in the roster for the FIFA Women’s World Cup team squad this August.
Speaking during the FIFA Trophy Tour in Makati City last Wednesday, the Lady Booters head coach felt a sense of pride seeing his wards play for the team and possibly be included in the team which will make its first appearance in the biggest women’s football tournament in the world.
Inna Palacios, Alisha del Campo, and Anicka Castañeda, who all played for La Salle in the University of Athletic Association of the Philippines, are part of the Filipinas squad that bagged the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation championship last year.
Palacios and Del Campo are also in the FIFA Trophy Tour along with Filipinas co-captain Hali Long, Bella Flannigan and Chantelle Maniti.
“I’m very proud. Just to prove that La Salle football does a lot for the women’s program in the country. My target whenever I’m coaching is not just for La Salle but to bring them to the highest level,” Smit said.
“Having a lot of the local players coming from the La Salle program, that’s even doubly rewarding for all of us.”
Palacios, Del Campo and Castañeda were key members of La Salle’s three-peat reign in the UAAP from 2017 to 2019.
With his wards in the national team, Smit is confident more players from the program will join the Filipinas roster.
“Definitely. I will claim it. There will be La Salle players coming from the national team for sure,” Smit said.
For Palacios, she is thankful for the learning experience under Smit and expects nothing less from any of the aspiring national team players who will come from La Salle.
“One of the things I’m very proud of is how we have a very good relationship. How he deals with me is something I’m lucky that I’m receptive and I think he got the best by doing that,” Palacios said.
“I expect nothing less. I come from La Salle so I know they know they produce quality players and for them to have someone to look up to and the history of players we have in La Salle, it’s important.”