Hot on the coattails of getting back-to-back victories in the qualifying phase of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup last month, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team head coach Marlon Maro wants to change in terms of how his squad is known in the general public.
The 56-year-old mentor was clear that he wanted to sever his program’s connection to the term ‘Malditas’.
“I don’t know how it started no,” wondered Maro during Tuesday’s edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, PAGCOR and Go For Gold. “Because when I retired from women’s coaching in 2007, there was no monicker about this name no?
“But personally, if you ask me, I don’t like this word, ‘malditas’, because that doesn’t represent the beauty of being a Filipina.”
The long-time De La Salle-College of St. Benilde mentor strongly believes that his team is in need of an overdue rebrand.
In fact, it was one of his initial marching orders ever since he returned to the post.
“Yun lang yung sa akin. It does not represent exactly the Filipinas no?
“So now that I’m back in the women’s team, I told the team that we have to stop using by our mouth, using this ‘maldita’ word. We are trying to look for a name, a new one, that truly represents to the world the Filipina people,” said Maro.
With the PWFNT set to compete in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India early next year amidst the target of qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the two-time NCAA champion coach hopes that the team will use a moniker they and the whole nation can be proud of when it goes up against the top countries in the continent.
“I’m using this platform now, to announce as head coach of the team, that this team tries to stop using ‘maldita’ because these are not ‘malditas’ players. They are beautiful, they are good, they are intelligent, and they are very disciplined,” said Maro.
“I think we have to look for a name again that we have to be proud of our Filipina.”