Stephan Schrock, a senior midfielder and Azkals team captain, is looking forward to “creating history with the Philippine Under-23 squad” in Group A men’s football action at the 31st Vietnam Southeast Asian Games Friday.

Stephan Schrock stated:

“This bunch, in my opinion, is more prepared than the prior time.” this is my second time in the competition, and I’m very looking forward to the first game. “I’m excited to make history with the Under-23 team,”

The Filipinos kick off their campaign against Timor Leste at the 16,000-capacity Viet Tri Stadium in Phu To, 81.5 kilometers northwest of Hanoi, in the third meeting between the two teams since October.

It would be the midfield maestro’s second straight SEA Games appearance. He was also the leader of the Serbian-coached under-23 team—Mentor Goran Milojevic in the 2019 edition of the Games held at the famous Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The Filipinos came up one point short of reaching the semifinals after tying 1-1 with Cambodia in Group A. Cambodia advanced to the next round on goal difference, 6-5, at the expense of the hosts, who ended with seven points each after two wins, one draw, and one loss.

“Of course, our first aim is to reach the semifinals,” said coach Norman Fegidero, who was a part of the last national team to do so in the 1991 SEA Games in Manila, when he scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 upset of Malaysia in the group stage.

Stephan Schrock

Stephan Schrock

Stephan Schrock believes that the current group takes to return the nation to the semifinals.

“The team has done their homework. The crew seems to be quite strong and skilled at what we’re doing. When I first joined the team, I was pleasantly delighted. remarked, “I appreciated the training sessions and the feedback.” “Everything is in place for us to win games and prepare for what this squad has in store.”

The midfielder’s nickname, Shrock, was also grateful for Fegidero’s decision to invite him back into the group.

“I appreciate Coach Norman’s decision to include me among the overage guys. “I don’t take these things for granted, particularly while the flag is flying,” the athlete said. “This is an enthralling group of players with enthralling abilities. They’ve come a long way in the previous six months.

“With a few tweaks in the next three days, I’m certain we’ll be able to pull off something massive.”

Given that the squad would be playing every other day, Stephan Schrock, note for his fitness. Told supporters that his 35-year-old legs would withstand the grind, saying, “I can play every day.”

Fegidero said:

“Stephan Schrocky will be a tremendous assistance to the squad since he can guide the players in accomplishing our target,”

He referenced his and Stephan Schrock’s national team experiences. Which he described as requiring “a lot of sacrifices.” It would help if you made sacrifices for your family and your time. Our experiences, hopefully, will encourage our lads to take us to the next level. In our quest to reach the semifinals first.”

Midfielder Oskari Kekkonen, who was also present for the meeting, echoed the coach and the experienced player’s comments.

“We’ve been working together for a long now, and I’ve seen the team’s development.” “We’ve been together since last October (in the AFC Under-23 qualifications) and the most recent (AFF U-23) tournament in Cambodia,” Kekkonen said. “I’m particularly looking forward to the team’s performance at the SEA Games.”

“Coach Nonoy has a wonderful experience as a coach and a fantastic career as a player”. The Kaya FC veteran, who was born in Kotka, Finland, said of Fegidero. The first thing I noticed about his training was how intense it was. We’re hoping to bring that to the games as well.”

Fegidero said that he would tackle the tournament “one game at a time” and that the Timorese would not overlook it.

The Brazilian coach, Fabio Magrao’s charges defeated the Junior Azkals 1-0. In the AFC Under-23 qualifying competition in Singapore in October 2021. Then drew 2–2 in the AFF U-23 tournament in Cambodia February.

Fegidero felt the burden as one of the teams that would launch the country’s campaign. At the Vietnam Games, but they made no doubt about their intentions on Friday.

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