Post by rpbenchwarmer on Jun 28, 2011 14:22:22 GMT 8
Azkals up close: Phil Younghusband by Barry Viloria, abs-cbnNEWS.com Posted at 06/26/2011 12:51 AM | Updated as of 06/28/2011 7:40 AM
MANILA, Philippines – It was 20 years ago when Phil Younghusband started playing football. His father taught him and his brother, James, the sport as “an excuse to use energy and run around.”
“My dad encouraged us to play. He’d bring me and my brother down to the park,” the 23-year-old striker said in an interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com.
Younghusband's love for football flourished since then. “When I turn the TV on, it would be a football game, and there was always my idol David Beckham,” the Filipino-British said.
Little did he know that he would become one of the most sought after football stars in the Philippine national football team.
Just like the Azkals, who surged to popularity after the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup and the AFC Challenge Cup group stage, Younghusband became an overnight sensation.
From then on, like any popular sports figure, Younghusband paved his own way to show business.
He has been guesting in TV shows and events, modeling for magazine covers and endorsing top products such as Collezione C2 and Blackberry Messenger. He also became one of the hottest items in the gossip world.
Younghusband, however, said, “it’s just being in the right place and in the right time.”
The Azkals heartthrob said that deep down, amidst the attention and adulation he has been receiving, football will remain to be his passion.
“You start thinking if this as your profession, and you work hard as good as you can be. And lucky for me and James, we were able to learn one of the biggest [sport] in the world,” he said.
Sad news indeed. They had to grow up fast with the passing away of their father and now this. Let's not forget the youngest sister Keri. The good thing is that both James and Phil seem to have a good head on their shoulders -- responsible with a fair business sense.
Jose Mourinho sobre Phil Younghusband.."Phil Younghusband era un chico con potencial y talento que trabajaba mucho en busca de un sueno. Yo hice que una parte de este suenyo se hiciera realidad al debutar con el primer equipo del Chelsea". Jose Mourinho envi'o este mensaje al CFIM. "Phil Younghusband was a talented player with potencial who worked hard in search of a dream. In part I helped him reach that dream by giving him his debut game with the Chelsea first team". Jose Mourinho sent this message to CFIM, upon the knowledge of this game.
From Internacional de Madrid FB account. Apparently when Maurinho heard about the Azkals vs Inter exhibition game.
During a cursory search the 1st team start of Phil Yh was probably in a pre season game hence does not count. Still trying to confirm...
Philippine version of David Beckham opens up ahead of Azkals' camp in Dubai
By Ashley Hammond, Staff Reporter Published: 00:00 February 7, 2012 Gulf News
Image Credit: AP file Phil Younghusband of the Philippine Azkals (left) in action during the 2010 Suzuki Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia. A former Chelsea recruit, Younghusband is one of the vital cogs in the wheel of the country’s national football team.
Dubai: Gulf News spoke to Philippine national team striker Phil Younghusband who arrives on camp in Dubai with the Azkals (street dogs) tonight ahead of his side's preparation for the AFC Challenge Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal, from March 8 to 19.
The 24-year-old Brit-born Filipino footballer, formerly of Chelsea, renowned for his relationship with Filipino film and television actress Angel Locsin, spoke about balancing show business distractions and the hype surrounding the team with grinding out results despite the setbacks of a nation still taking to the game.
Gulf News: Tell us how you got into the Azkals side.
Article continues below
phil Younghusband: A teenager was playing Football Manager on his computer and discovered me and my brother James — who were in the Chelsea reserves — [and] were eligible [to play] for the Philippines from our mum's side. He wrote to the Philippine Football Federation to alert them and in turn they wrote to Chelsea. The academy director at Stamford Bridge asked us if we'd like to play for the Philippines. I later met the gamer at a party in Manila after we reached the 2010 Suzuki Cup semi-final and thanked him.
Do you feel more English or Filipino?
I call myself Filipino not English despite being born in England. Of course, growing up my idols were David Beckham, Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne and my ambition was to play for England. I supported Man United, loved Eric Cantona and David Beckham and watched my dad's team, Wimbledon. But I'm very proud to have Filipino blood and I'm proud to represent the Philippines. I feel more Filipino, but obviously I still have an English accent. But in my values and traditions I'm very much a Filipino.
Could you have played on at an English club?
My brother was released from Chelsea the year before me and I saw what he went through trying to find a club and I didn't want to go through that. Before my contract ended I had already played for the Philippines and once it ended I felt more comfortable staying in Manila. I could have looked for clubs in Europe or America, but I'm glad I made this decision.
What are the team's chances at the AFC Challenge Cup?
Since the Suzuki Cup there's been a lot of buzz around football in the Philippines. There's more pressure and we're expected to win, but there's still a long way to go. The teams in our group — North Korea, India and Tajikistan — are all past champions. We're trying to educate people about the realities of our situation. Football isn't as developed in the Philippines as it is elsewhere. With us, we need more preparation, but a lot of our players fly in from Europe at the last minute and it's difficult to gel. We're still adjusting, but whenever we've had our best players together we've competed against good teams.
The Azkals are mostly mixed heritage, but what about the locals?
In the short term, we need the European-based players or those with Filipino blood who play abroad, to have success. Grass roots development and the local league isn't yet at the standard to compete internationally. While the team is trying to be successful we're also trying to develop the footballing infrastructure and the long-term goal is to grow local talent, but this won't happen overnight.
How is your hamstring problem?
I've been playing in the local league [with Loyola Meralco Sparks] and yes, I still have hamstring issues. The Christmas break didn't help as I've come back unprepared. I'm going to use these next few weeks in Dubai to intensify training. I don't feel 100 per cent but hopefully by the time the Challenge Cup comes we'll all be ready. Results in Dubai aren't important, it's all about getting the right preparation. Doing things right in Dubai will give us a good opportunity in Nepal.
Is show-business getting in the way of your game?
Show business is bigger than sport in the Philippines and there's not [enough] money in football to be able to call it a full-time job. Players need these extra-curricular activities like modelling to support their families. It's not going to overtake the game. The management keeps us grounded and we make sure football is the priority. It's nice to be recognised for my football and now parents want their kids to play because they can see a future in the sport. I'm used to the attention now. Our fans have been so supportive and we owe them more than anything.
Hard wok, all play
Whilst here, the Azkals will play Uzbekistan U23's on February 11 and the Australian U23's on February 16. Both matches will be played at Al Nasr Club in Oud Metha, Dubai from 8pm. They will also take on Al Ahli in Doha, Qatar on Monday, February 13. Tickets for the Dubai friendlies are available at all Virgin Megastore, Giordano and Orlando Sports branches costing Dh165 for VIP, Dh75 for category A and Dh70 for category B. Azkals roster
Eduardo Sacapano Jose Paolo Pascual Ian Araneta Nestorio Margarse Jr Carlos Martinez de Murga Misagh Bahadoran Juan Luis Guirado Angel Guirado Emelio ‘Chieffy' Caligdong Roel Gener Phil Younghusband James Younghusband Joshua Beloya Jerry Barbaso Jason Abbot Sabio Lexton Moy Rob Gier Denis Wolf
Phil Younghusband misses former Azkals coach McMenemy’s presence Alfonso Ramirez, InterAKTV · Tuesday, February 7, 2012 · 2:18 pm
Phil Younghusband, the British-Filipino who has become the pin-up boy of Philippine football, has admitted missing somebody very dearly.
No, the 24-year-old former Chelsea reserve, was not referring to his rumored girlfriend, actress Angel Locsin, when he made the admission on the eve of the Philippine national men’s football team’s departure for Dubai, where the Azkals will hold a two-week training camp in preparation for their upcoming campaign in the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal. Neither was he referring to his mother, Susan, who passed away in September.
Younghusband, who plays for the Loyola Meralco Sparks in the fledgling UFL, minced no words in admitting that he misses former Azkals coach, Simon McMenemy.
“I was very close to Simon and was sad to see him go. He was one of the key reasons why we had the success we did. I often wonder what could have happened if he was still here,” he said in a phone patch from Manila.
McMenemy, who brought the Azkals to the semifinals of the 2010 AFC Suzuki Cup that thereby triggered a renaissance of sorts for Philippine football, was replaced by current national team coach Hans Michael Weiss.
McMenemy is currently head coach of Indonesia Super League club Mitra Kukar.
“He did a great thing for Philippine football and he’s doing well now in Indonesia,” Younghusband said of McMenemy. “I’m still in contact. But now we have a new coach and he’s doing well.”
Filipino footballing brothers were made in Chelsea, fashioned in Manila Gary Meenaghan Feb 16, 2012
It is not without reason that James and Philip Younghusband believe their lives would make a very watchable movie. The story of the Filipino brothers has everything a great film requires: success, adversity, heart-break, photogenic protagonists, picturesque locations, dalliances with famous faces, and - most importantly - a moral. Related
Fade in: maternity ward in Surrey, near London.
A baby cries. A newspaper lying near the hospital bed shows the date: August 4, 1987. A Filipina named Susan Placer and an Englishman named Philip Younghusband Sr are welcoming their second son into the world. It is 11 months since the birth of James, the couple's first born.
Growing up in Staines, south London, the two brothers become inseparable; the family travels to the Philippines for a holiday every year; and with their birthdays being so close, when they start attending Catholic primary school they are placed in the same grade.
As pre-teens, they play football for the same Sunday League sides and when their school puts them forward for county trials they are both approached by scouts of Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham United and Watford.
After training with all four clubs, they sign on with Chelsea's Under 10s, and they remain at the club for 11 years.
"We were there during the transition from before and after [Roman] Abramovich," Phil, now a dimple-cheeked 24 year old, told The National this week in Dubai.
"We joined Chelsea when Gianluca Vialli was in charge. To go to the training ground and see the first-team players was always special, but once Abramovich came in, we started to see new faces every week. Then when Jose [Mourinho] came in everything changed completely."
Cut to: Cobham training centre, Chelsea.
A 20-year-old Filipino, dressed in a blue training kit, sits in the club's plush changing rooms. Next to him is an older man with greying hair and the initials JM on his tracksuit. The two figures, leaning forward and readying themselves for a day's work, are deep in conversation.
Mourinho joined Chelsea in 2004 and set about changing the mentality and ethic of Chelsea Football Club. In his first season, he secured the Londoners a first league title in 50 years. In the same year, Phil Younghusband finished top scorer for Chelsea's youth team and was included in Mourinho's squad during the 2005 pre-season.
"Phil was a talented player with potential who worked hard in search of a dream," Mourinho said recently. "In part, I helped him reach that dream by giving him his debut with the Chelsea first team."
While James remained with the reserve team, Phil played two pre-season friendlies under Mourinho, most memorably against Wycombe Wanderers in 2005 where he came off a bench that included Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben to replace Joe Cole. He called it "an experience I will always remember and cherish".
"To hear those words from Jose is amazing," he said. "Whenever we were doing our boots up together or sitting having a talk, he would always ask about the Philippines and the interest in football there. He is very people friendly and it was great to see.
"He paid incredible attention to detail, even the youngest kid in the Under Nines, he would know their name. Before games, we used to receive a booklet about a hundred pages thick about the opposition. That's how detailed he was and I feel very proud to be able to boast that I worked with him."
Cut to: an upscale photography studio, Manila.
A dapper looking James Younghusband, having left Chelsea in 2006, is working as a model. Through the window, the sun is shining. Life appears relaxed. He stops to take a telephone call and his brother informs him Chelseawill not be renewing his contract either, so he will follow him to the Philippines.
Both brothers describe their time at Stamford Bridge in positive terms; a place where everybody looked out for each other and former players are welcomed back like family. John Terry, the London side's controversial captain, even paid for James's driving lessons. "He's that nice of a guy," he said. "A real role model for leaders."
Having spent two seasons flitting around the English lower leagues, James moved to the Philippines in 2008, where he flirted with magazine modelling and show business before re-lacing his boots and registering to play in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup. Phil, soon after having learnt he would not remain on the books at Stamford Bridge, joined his brother on the national team roster.
"It was difficult because coming from Chelsea you are sort of spoilt," James said. "If you don't make it at Chelsea, going into the real world is tough. But you can look at in two ways: the negative whereby you wanted to make it in England or the positive where you go out and make the most of the increased opportunities available to you."
Cut to: Alabang Country Club, Muntinlupa City, Manila.
Phil Younghusband, dressed in a white training shirt and black shorts, watches as Filipino children chase a ball around a rutted pitch. He looks toward the sidelines hoping for more youngsters to appear, but all he sees is a banner reading "Younghusband Football Academy".
Phil has launched his own football school aimed at developing national talent in his mother's homeland. Registration numbers remained small, however, as football fought with the country's more popular sports, as well as other favoured pastimes.
"Showbiz is popular in the Philippines, as is modelling, basketball and boxing, but football was not, so it was difficult for me," Phil said.
"I wanted to be in the Philippines, but I also wanted to stay involved in football. When I started the academy, the interest was low, we only had about 60 kids and it was hard to find sponsors."
The Philippines national football team was reinvented as "The Azkals" in 2006 and, undoubtedly helped by the team reaching the semi-finals of the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Suzuki Cup in 2010 and the local league going professional, support for football is rapidly on the rise.
Phil and James, with their modelling backgrounds and English accents, have become the poster boys of Filipino football and their academy now has, according to Phil, "hundreds of kids wanting to play".
"You could make it into a movie the way football was before and what it is now in the Philippines," James said. "In the space of a year and a half, it has changed drastically. It's been a transition from one extreme to the other.
"Last year, before the success, we would be sitting in the mall with nothing to do, trying to decide what film to watch, now we only have one day off each week and it's hard to find time for anything."
Cut to: Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai.
The Azkals, cheered on by a small but vocal throng of passionate Filipino expatriates, are playing the Uzbekistan Under 23s.
They are losing 3-0, but still the crowd cheer.
As the referee blows for full time, the Younghusbands walk towards the fans to show their appreciation.
A high-pitched wolf-whistle rings out. The brothers smile.
James and Phil are part of the Azkals squad that have this month been using the Middle East as a base during their preparations for the upcoming AFC Challenge Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Placed in a group with India, North Korea and Tajikistan, all three of whom are previous winners of the tournament, the team's chances of success are slim.
"We need to educate the people in the Philippines, so they understand and appreciate that we can't win every time," Phil said. "We're not Manny Pacquiao."
And therein lies the moral. Both players are happy, delighted in fact, just to be playing the game they love for a country that has welcomed them so warmly.
Now when they walk the streets in Manila, they are recognised as professional footballers, rather than for being a pretty face or for modelling on billboards.
"For that to happen in the Philippines is amazing," Phil said. "That makes us more happy than anything."
"Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV)
stellarboy: perkoalcantara: Their football forum's in Chinese...
Jun 5, 2013 9:23:33 GMT 8
Made in Germany: There should not be any Problem with Hongkong FA, my team in Cebu get lots of support from Hongkong Football players. The Hooligans have nothing to do with the official football and must be condemned worldwide
Jun 5, 2013 9:49:13 GMT 8
deft1: no biggie HK peeps. let's trash talk next time pussies!
Jun 5, 2013 10:19:47 GMT 8
Sam: Yo guys when are the next tryouts? Currently looking for a nearby team in P'Que to join in
Jun 10, 2013 22:07:23 GMT 8
khiksz14: may tao po ba? may gusto lang akong itanong
Jun 17, 2013 19:40:41 GMT 8
khiksz14: pano makaka sali or saan pwedeng sumali ang cousin ko sa any football league or team dito sa pinas? galing po kasi syang spain at uuwi dito 18years old sya ngayon! salamat wala kasi akong idea napag utusan lang po ko.
Jun 17, 2013 19:43:00 GMT 8
stellarboy: khiksz14: Paki-post na lang ng message sa Introduce yourself thread sa Induction section. Salamat.
Jun 18, 2013 10:04:37 GMT 8