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    Gier hints at international retirement following another Azkals AFF Cup semis exit

    Dec 13, 2014

    ANOTHER Azkals skipper could be retiring from international play.

    After former captain Chieffy Caligdong retired from national duty last month, successor Rob Gier has hinted at retirement — at least in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup — following a third straight stint in the biennial tournament.

    “I never say never, but it’s two years down the line,” said the veteran center-back, who turns 34 next month. “I’m not announcing anything yet, but I think it’s probably unlikely that I’ll play a Suzuki Cup again.”

    He did not see action in the first group stage match against Laos, but Gier came in as a sub for the injured Juani Guirado against Indonesia, before starting against Vietnam and in the two semifinal meetings against Thailand.

    “I think it’s about time to let some of the younger lads have a go at this tournament,” said the Filipino-British Gier, who has represented the country since 2009.

    [See Salute to the Chieffy as former Azkals captain Caligdong ends international career]

    Gier believes 19-year-old backline partner Amani Aguinaldo can fill the void, and fellow teenage defender in left-back Daisuke Sato can learn from their latest setback.

    “We’ve got a lot of youngsters. Hopefully these experiences will be good for them,” Gier said. “Amani and Sato can potentially have another five Suzuki Cups to learn from and get that elusive victory.”

    For now, he just wants to forget about football as he returns to his native England and spend the holiday season with his family.

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    “I don’t want to think about 2015 yet. I just want to go home, see my babies and enjoy Christmas.”

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