By NIKOLE JAVIER
Members of the Philippine women’s national football team who will wage war against the giants have been unveiled ahead of the country’s historic 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup debut on Sunday, July 9.
The 23 players were named by coach Alen Stajcic as the Filipinas wrap up their four-week training camp in Sydney, Australia.
Spearheading the team who will leave Monday, July 10, are Hali Long and Tahnai Annis, who were named co-captains.
Other members of the team are Kiara Fontanilla, Kaiya Jota, and Olivia McDaniel as goalkeepers.
Defenders: Alicia Barker, Angela Beard, Reina Bonta, Malea Cesar, Jessika Cowart, Sofia Harrison, Dominique Randle and Long
Midfielders: Tahnai Annis, Ryley Bugay, Anicka Castañeda, Sara Eggesvik, Quinley Quezada, Jaclyn Sawicki
Forwards: Sarina Bolden, Isabella Flanigan, Carleigh Frilles, Katrina Guillou, Chandler McDaniel, Meryll Serrano
On the reserves list are Inna Palacios, Maya Alcantara, Isabella Pasion
From 29 players, the Nationals were trimmed down to its official number while the three others were named on the reserves list.
The PH team will be facing much-higher ranked opponents in Norway (No. 12), Switzerland (No. 20) and host nation New Zealand (No. 25).
“We congratulate the 23 players who were selected for the Philippines in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and express our gratitude to the players who have committed and sacrificed to make themselves available throughout the selection process,” said PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.
“We wish our team all the best as they head to New Zealand for the final days of their preparation, before the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes.
“The next weeks will be the culmination of a year and a half of hard work, dedication and sacrifice by every member of our Team,” said team manager Jefferson Cheng. “This group of 23 represents the best of us, the best of the indomitable Filipino spirit, and I am excited to see them make all of us even prouder.”
The Philippines secured its first-ever appearance at a FIFA World Cup, male or female, when Sarina Bolden fired the go-ahead penalty kick in their dramatic win over Chinese Taipei in the Asian Cup in India in Jan. 2022.