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Tiebreaker Times


Quezada says Filipinas not letting guard down despite securing spots

AUCKLAND—Quinley Quezada feels that representing the Philippines in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is the culmination of all her hard work and perseverance throughout her career.

The former standout from the University of California, Riverside, was chosen as one of the final 23 Filipinas who will represent the country on the global stage for the first time.

“I was just really excited. The anticipation that was building up to actually finding out, having Alen (Stajcic), coach Naz (Arrarte), and Belay (Fernando) tell me that I was part of the roster… I was just super excited, super proud,” said Quezada, who has 45 caps to her name.

“It was a testament to how hard I’ve worked and how hard the team has worked to get to this point. I was just really grateful, really proud to represent the Philippines.”

The Filipinas started their preparations for the tournament in June in Sydney. The squad underwent daily training sessions and had closed-door tune-up matches with various teams.

It has been and remains a competitive environment for the Filipinas. It is one thing to make the final squad, but another to be one of the starters against the likes of Switzerland, New Zealand, and Norway in the group stage.

“Obviously, we were still cheering each other on, being happy for each other’s individual progress, but at the same time, we were pushing each other, just making sure collectively as a team, we were getting stronger as well as individually,” said Quezada, who currently plays for Red Star Belgrade.

“After the roster was made, I don’t think there was necessarily a difference in competitiveness. All of us are still giving 100 percent, 110 percent. We’re still competing for starting positions. I think that competitiveness within the group is still strong and evident in our team right now.”

The majority of the players and staff have been together for roughly two months now. If there were internal matters that needed to be settled, those inside did not allow them to linger for too long.

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Everyone in the program is focused on ensuring that the Philippines performs well in the World Cup. Everything else is just noise.Sarina-Bolden-Quinley-Quezada-Philippine-Womens-Football-PWNFT-1 Quezada says Filipinas not letting guard down despite securing spots Filipinas Football News  - philippine sports news

“Just like with every team, we have our own struggles, issues that we go through, but team-wise, I feel like we’re really strong,” said the 26-year-old forward.

“I think the main thing about our team is that we’re very humble, very grateful, very prideful. So with any struggle, any hardship that we’ve come across this time, we’ve been able to get over it and push through. I don’t think there’s a specific struggle or hardship that stands out.”

The Filipinas will conclude their preparations with a friendly against Sweden this Monday. It will be their final tune-up fixture before they take on Switzerland next Thursday in Dunedin.

As an attacking player, the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship gold medalist hopes her side can improve its performance when holding the ball and trying to create opportunities in the final third.

“It will be a great learning experience. Obviously, Sweden is very good and highly ranked. They’re a great squad. I think right now we’re using that time to see how we do against tough opposition,” said Quezada. “I think right now our defense is really, really strong. Moving forward, we need to work on how we possess the ball—once we win it, how can we get forward, how can we create more scoring opportunities?

“I think we just need to work on our possession phase. That’s what we’re looking to do in our upcoming tune-up matches.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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