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Phl booters hard at work


The Philippine men’s national football team is not slacking off in its preparation for the coming couple of matches against Iraq in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this month.

“We have been training for days now. We’re here to work hard and be able to represent ourselves properly so we can hopefully land a spot for the national team in the upcoming game,” veteran Jarvey Gayoso said.

The Kaya FC-Iloilo star, who was not included in the Philippines’ first two matches of the World Cup qualifiers last year, expressed delight working under head coach Tom Saintfiet.

“It’s been great. We have been asked to show what we can do as athletes and that’s just what you need: The motivation to just work hard and prove yourself,” Gayoso said.

The Philippines is set to face the Lions of Mesopotamia at the Basra International Stadium on 21 March (22 March in Manila) and at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on 26 March.

Filipino-German midfielder Kevin Ingreso, one of the oldest members of the team, said he is excited to get into action and share his experience with the younger booters.

The Filipino-German midfielder has been with the national team since 2015.

“I can step into the role a little bit. We have our leaders in the team. It’s the first time to get together with new faces so it’s important to step up in a role like that to guide them a bit since,” Ingreso, who will also play for Taguig FC in the upcoming Philippines Football League, said.

“Those guys need a bit of guidance in training and I’m happy to do so.”

Saintfiet, on the other hand, hopes to bring the same magic that helped him guide Gambia to a quarterfinal finish in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

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