Dream the impossible

first_img“At that time, I didn’t really process or think about the long-term future and I think after that you start thinking how the Philippines can really go when you start creeping up the rankings; when we start qualifying for semifinals of the Suzuki Cup, then you really start thinking how far can this team really go.”The recruitment of talented players with Filipino lineage who have played in leagues overseas much like the Younghusband brothers slowly changed the fortunes of the team and in 2010, with businessman Dan Palami as manager, the Azkals finally took off.A stunning win in Vietnam triggered a wave of support back home, and also renewed interest from foreign-based Filipino players. When the Azkals qualified for the Asian Cup back in March in Manila, Palami candidly joked that the victory was worth his dwindling bank account.“Somehow, it’s a relief that  your belief of what the team can do has been rewarded with this participation [in the Asian Cup], but I think we can even do more,” said Palami. “We try to set our goals higher but at the same time we try to enjoy the moment being here in the Asian Cup right now and I think this is what the players are doing.”Tournament debutThe Azkals begin their debut campaign in the Asian Cup on Monday against South Korea, a regular Asian representative in the Fifa World Cup. The two countries have not played against each other since 1978, when the Koreans beat the Filipinos, 5-0, in an AFC Asian Cup qualifying match in Manila.The Azkals will also play China and Kyrgyzstan in the group stage and while they may be outsiders to reach the round of 16, the team has already set the benchmark for Philippine football.“Somehow you try to expect and try to hope that you make something out of this,” said Palami. “You try to surprise Korea, maybe get out of the group stages.”Swedish coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who took England to two World Cup quarterfinals in 2002 and 2006, isn’t lacking in belief in his players.“The players are very good,” he said. “One of the problems is that the Philippines is not a great football country. Basketball is [more] popular than football, but I think this generation of players have a golden opportunity to change that.” “It’s surreal when you put everything in perspective and you start to realize what an achievement it has been over the last 14 years. But we’re excited to be here and feel the Asian Cup vibe.”“Still can’t believe we’re here,” James admitted. “It felt so recent that we qualified when we beat Tajikistan [last March] and Phil got his 50th goal. I still have emotions from that night.”The first time Phil and James suited up for the country was in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games in Bacolod City and the Philippines failed to make it to the medal round.The year before, the Philippine team that pulled off the so-called Miracle in Hanoi in the AFF Suzuki Cup was starting to take shape under coach Aris Caslib, who then had the likes of Aly Borromeo, Anton del Rosario, Chris Greatwich and Chieffy Caligdong in the AFF Championship.“When I first wore the Philippine kit, all I was thinking about was the Southeast Asian Games and the AFF Suzuki Cup because we were qualifying in 2006,” Phil said.ADVERTISEMENT Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.NETDUBAI—The bus that takes the Philippine team to training and to the stadium for its matches in the AFC Asian Cup here is covered with black decal with red, white and green linings depicting the logo of the continent’s biggest football tournament held for only the second time in the United Arab Emirates.On each side of the bus and on the windshield, the word “Philippines” is written. But as you look closer, the phrase printed on each side immediately strikes a chord to a team that has gone through so much just to be among the 24 nations participating in this competition.ADVERTISEMENT Ex-PBA star Adducul joins Blackwater as ‘teacher’ for Elite big men It may be a stretch for the Azkals to change the country’s sporting landscape, but they are more than happy to showcase not just the Philippines’ footballing pedigree, but their uncanny fighting spirit here.“What we’ve always done, we had the Philippine fighting spirit,” said Phil. “When it comes down to the pitch, we’re all fighting for each other, fighting for the country, that means a lot.” The phrase “To Dream The Impossible,” coined by organizers as the Azkals’ battlecry, couldn’t be more perfect as they relish their first Asian Cup experience in the Emirate.Considering that just a decade ago, they were nowhere near this competition, being here is already a milestone in itself—a fact not lost on players like Phil and James Younghusband, who have been representing the country since 2005.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss‘Surreal’“It’s been an incredible journey and I think reaching the Asian Cup is a great way to mark a great milestone of what we’ve really achieved,” said Phil, the country’s top international scorer with 52 goals and also holds the record for most appearances with 105. 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first_img*Junior Championship Final*The Seniors will take on Urris this Sunday in the Junior Championship Final in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny at 6pm. This is the clubs first Junior Final since their 2009 defeat to Moville and the 5th in the Clubs history. Their road to the final consisted of a tough playoff win over Naomh Ultan in the first round before defeating Robert Emmets by 5 points in the Semi Final. Their opponents on Sunday, Urris, had a longer path to the final as they had to overcome Muff in the Preliminary Round before defeating Burt and then Red Hughs to progress to the Final. This is a huge game for the Club and the communities of the three towns in our Parish, Milford, Ramelton and Rathmullan, and your support would be greatly appreciated in order to help cheer the team on to victory and bring back the Junior Championship for the 4th time. *Seniors*Robert Emmets 1-10 CLG BnaG 0-15Na Galloglaigh remain undefeated after another good second half performance secured the win in Castlefin on Friday night. The first half was played at a frenetic pace with a lot of heavy hitting and it took a while for the Seniors to get into their stride. An already depleted Milford side lost two more players before the half time whistle with Lorcan Friel and Paul Grier being forced off before Paddy McGeever blew his whistle with the score 0-7 to 0-6 in favour of Robert Emmets. Na Galloglaigh managed to kick it up a gear in the second half and found themselves back in the lead half way through the period going 0-12 to 0-10 up. That lead was stretched to 0-14 to 0-10 with just under ten minutes remaining before the Milford defence was caught napping and Robert Emmets stuck a quick 13 metre free into the back of Caolan McGettigan’s net, the first goal the side had conceded in 8 games. It made for a nervy finale for the blues but they stuck to their task to see out the game and stretch their lead to two points at the end as Luke Barrett scored a free with the last kick of the game. It was a stern test for na Galloglaigh that will hopefully hold them in good stead going into next weeks Junior Championship Final against Urris, which takes place in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny at 6pm on Sunday the 25th. Team: Caolan Mc Gettigan, Paul Grier, Conor McNulty,Cormac Friel (0-3), Enda McHugh, Tj Evesson, Manus Boyce, Lorcan Friel, Anthony Fisher, Anthony Mc Paul, Chippie Barrett (0-2), James Doyle(0-1), Pauric Curley, Cathal McGettigan (0-5), Paddy Peoples. Subs: Luke Barrett (0-4) for Grier (15m), Dean Burgess for L. Friel (25m), Barry McNulty for C. McNulty (50m), Ryan Ferry for C.Friel (55m), Sean Gallagher *Ladies Intermediate Championship Semi-Final First Leg*CLG BnaG 4-14 Four Masters 4-8The Senior Ladies qualified for this year’s Intermediate Final with a hard fought win over Four Masters on Sunday morning. After winning the first leg in Milford the week before by five points, the girls knew they would be in for some battle in this second leg and that’s exactly what transpired. This time around it was Milford who started from the blocks the quickest and after 15 minutes were ahead by 1-3 to a point. Unfortunately from then until half time Four Masters took over and as a result Milford went in at half time 4 points down on a scoreline of 3-4 to 1-6. The second half started in much the same way with Four Masters matching Milford score for score. A converted penalty by Amber Barrett cut the deficit to two points but almost immediately Four Masters added a goal and a point to be six points ahead with fifteen minutes left. From this point on the Milford girls showed the spirit which has carried them through this season unbeaten and a well taken goal from Bridgin Devenney, who had managed to drift in behind the Four Masters defence from midfield unseen, swung the tie back in Milfords favour. Another goal by Amber Barrett as well as points from Rachael Coyle and Lianne Boyce stretched the Milford lead to six points and thanks to some resolute defending which was led superbly by Aoife Gallagher Milford held out and qualified for the Intermediate final at their first attempt. They now play Aodh Ruadh on Sunday the 1st September in the curtain raiser to the Ladies senior final. Denise Gallagher,Laura McCafferty, Aoife Gallagher, Heather Dougherty (Sharon Graham), Josephine McFadden (Emer Callaghan), Karen Peoples (Roisin Boyce), Claire Murray, Bridgin Devenney, Shannon McGroddy, Amber Barrett(3-9), Niamh Carr, Aisling McDermott, Aisling McCafferty(0-1), Lianne Boyce(0-2), Roisin Boyce (Rachel Coyle (0-2)*Ladies Division 2*Glenties 2-4 CLG BnaG 4-13The Senior Ladies had a great away win at Glenties on Tuesday past. It was an excellent team performance with Roisin Boyce and Katie McAteer outstanding.*Volunteers Needed for Sub-Committees* CLG BnaG is currently in the process of creating Sub-Committees to help implement and achieve the targets of a 5 year plan. If you feel you can contribute to the running of the Club in any small way, either in time or in ideas, please contact [email protected], 0863400082 or send a PM. The Sub-Committees are as follows:FinanceUnderage Games DevelopmentAdult Games Development Club AdministrationClub FacilitiesPR, Communication & Culture*U21s*The U21s begin their U21A Championship with a home game against Four Masters next Tuesday (27th August) at 7.30pm. All support greatly appreciated*Minor Ladies*The Minor Ladies begin their season against Termon this Tuesday (20th August) with throw in at 5.45pm. They will follow this up with an away tie at Naomh Mhuire next Tuesday. All support would be greatly appreciated*U14 Girls*The U14 Girls are home to Dungloe this Thursday at 5.30pm.*U12 Girls Blitz – Downings*An U12 Girls blitz was held in Downings last night, with three teams in attendance, CLG BnaG, Glenswilly and Downings, with a good number of parents in attendance to support. CLG BnaG Girls were very strong in both games showing huge improvements in all areas of the pitch. There is one blitz remaining for the girls – time and date yet to be confirmed.*Gaelic For Mothers*As the 30th Celebrations Gaelic for Mothers game was such an enjoyable success that there will now betraining for everyone who played on Friday as well as anyone else who would like to get involved. Trainingwill be Wednesday nights at 8pm at the pitch*Prediction Competition*Current Top 10 Leaderboard. For the full leaderboard why not sign up to our weekly newsletter. To sign up send your name and email address to [email protected] or to 0863400082.*Lotto Sellers Required*The Club is seeking lotto sellers in the Milford, Ramelton and Rathmullan areas. If you are interested contact Joe McNulty on 086-8547114*Lotto*This weeks lotto numbers were 6-8-13-15. No jackpot winner, 3 match 3 winners win €25 each. Paul Doherty, Rosgarrow, Milford, Damian Toland, Mt. Marion, Milford, and Edward Sweeney, Cranford. Next weeks Jackpot is €1,080.*Evolution Fitness*All paid up club members will now be able to avail of a €10 discount on 3 month membership. Normal 3 month membership is €80 but will be available to members for €70. If interested contact Jack Duddy at Evolution Fitness beside the mart in Milford*Contact Us*For all information and queries contact [email protected], follow us on Twitter on @CLGBnaG, and on Facebook on www.facebook.com/clgbaile.nangalloglach or see our website www.milford.donegal.gaa.ie/*Training*Seniors: Tues & Thurs at 7pmLadies: Wed (6.30pm) & Sat (10am)Gaelic for Mothers: Wed at 8pmU12s: Fri at 5.30pm*Milford GAA Club Gear*Club gear is now available to order. Anyone who has ordered club gear but yet received it are to contact either Aidan or Barry. The range of club gear includes Hoodies, Tracksuits tops, Windcheaters, hats, navy polo shirts, white polo shirts, and t-shirts. There is some lovely gear available at very reasonable prices and photos are available to view on the club Facebook page. Orders can be placed with either Barry on 086-3400082 or Aidan on 087-1223177.Hoodies (Kids 5-11: €29.99. Kids 13-14: €38. Adults S-XXL: €39.99)Track top (13/14 – Adult XXL: €38)Windcheater (Adult S-XXL: €23)Hat (€7.50)Polo Shirts (Navy) (13/14 – Adult XXL: €29.99)Training T-Shirt (Kids 5-11: €18. Kids 13-14: €19.99. Adults S-XXL: €23)Initials can be added at an additional €2 eachGAA NEWS: MILFORD CLUB LOOKING FORWARD TO CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL was last modified: August 20th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:milford gaa newslast_img read more