Preparations have begun anew for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team for its campaign in the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year in Australia and New Zealand.
Coach Alen Stajcic’s wards are set to face Costa Rica – ranked 37th in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings – tomorrow as they look to test themselves again another higher-ranked nation.
“We’ve begun the camp in Costa Rica but it’s a beautiful place with such a rich football history and culture,” said the erstwhile Central Coast Mariners mentor.
“Their National Training Centre is amazing and it’s clear to see both their love of the game and why they have been so successful lately in both men’s and Women’s international football.”
After facing European and Oceanian opposition, the Filipinas have now added a South American flavor to their global expedition.
While the upcoming matches against the Costa Ricans are technically friendly tune-up matches, the Philippines will be looking not just to compete and learn but seal the wins on hostile territory.
“Costa Rica has a traditional Latin playing style with lots of flair and players with excellent technique,” said Stajcic. “It will be a great opportunity for us to play a Team with World Cup experience and one that is filled with players with high-level passing and dribbling qualities.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing them on their home turf.”
Lesser teams and players will allow themselves to be overwhelmed by who they are facing and where they are playing.
For the Filipinas, though, this is merely another step along the way in their quest to be a respected team around the world.
In their previous international friendlies, they demonstrated that they can keep up with their adversaries. This time, it’s about crossing that finishing line.
“The motivations of the team are at an all-time high and confidence too is in a good place. We now know we can compete with the likes of New Zealand and Ireland,” said the 2022 AFF Women’s Championship gold medalist.
“The next step is to start beating these higher-ranked teams. With a few injuries and bouts of illness in the Team this week, it will be a great test of our depth and flexibility in the team.”