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Pinay booters raring to be competitive


For members of the national women’s football team, the FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be held in Australia and New Zealand will not be a picnic.

Filipinas skipper Tahnai Annis said the chemistry and bond they forged over the past couple of years will be their biggest weapons when they march into the world’s biggest football spectacle.

Annis said they will not be mere tourists as their preparation against teams from Europe and South American had prepared them for the tough grind ahead.

In fact, their last friendly match against Sweden yielded a 1-5 setback but it doesn’t matter as they will carry all the lessons they gained when they face countries like Switzerland, New Zealand and Norway in the preliminaries in Group A.

The Filipinas will face the Swiss on Friday at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand before confronting the Kiwis on 25 July at the Wellington Regional Stadium. They will wrap up their campaign against the Norwegians on 30 July at the Eden Park in Auckland.

“Well, we are definitely a rookie team in terms of playing in our first World Cup, but this group has been around for a good amount of time,” Annis said in an interview with

“We have a core group of veterans who have been leading the way and then we’ve been picking up new players along the way who are ready and preparing with us.”

The 34-year-old Annis admitted that expectations are high but they will do everything to go hard and compete every game.

“I think this year there’s a little bit more expectation on us,” she said.

“We have had a lot more media around us and I think that has helped us immensely over the past year. We know we have so much support back home and support from all over the world — it’s not just when we’re in the Philippines (we have backing), but also when we’ve had camps in Costa Rica, Chile, Spain, we have supporters who come out everywhere.”

Aside from Annis, who played college ball at University of Florida before launching a professional career in Iceland, the Filipinas will also bank on stars like forwards Sarina Bolden and Katrina Guillou, midfielders Sara Eggesvik and Quinley Quezada, and defenders Angela Beard and Hali Long.

While the Swiss (No. 20), Kiwis (No. 26) and Norwegians (No. 12) are far above in the FIFA rankings compared to the No. 46 Philippines, Annis believes that anything can happen when the match kicks off.

“We know that any World Cup game is going to be anyone’s biggest game. And we also all know that on any given day, any team can show up and beat another team,” Annis said.

“All of these teams — Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand — are great on paper and have historically done well and have so much experience. So, we know what we’re up against. But the ball could bounce any way on any different day. We have to do everything we can to prepare so we can put our best foot forward when that day comes.”

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