WITH another major international competition just months away, the Philippine men’s football team will need all the help it can get in its ambitious quest for glory in the world’s No. 1 sport.
Seeking to field a stronger lineup and undergo better training for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the Azkals on Tuesday officially launched 'Small Change, Big Change,' a fundraising drive where fans can chip in aside from just cheer.
National team manager Dan Palami, who introduced the campaign last December, said support from fans will be most welcome.
“Especially as we embark on the World Cup qualifiers, sigurado mas maraming gastos ‘to at mas maraming resources ang kailangan,” said the Azkals boss, who has almost singlehandedly bankrolled the team since 2010.
“We’re trying to fly in even better players and we will have more games and more preparation para naman mas maganda ang showing natin ngayon kesa sa last edition ng qualifiers.”
The Azkals reached the second round of the qualifiers for the first time in 2011, before bowing to mighty Kuwait, 5-1, on aggregate.
The new campaign, in partnership with Puregold, will see donation cans being set up at the grocery giant’s branches, encouraging people to give their spare change after they pay at the counter.
“The ultimate goal is to be part of the World Cup,” Palami said. “We take it one step at a time and I’m glad the fans are helping us.”
The Azkals manager said the team usually spends between US$150,000 and $200,000 in one overseas trip for a week-long training camp or a tournament.
“The team has achieved much with the limited funds available and we believe that the team can go much farther with more funding support,” he added.