Little Azkals share journey in new documentary

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Saturday, August 9, 2014


YOUNG Pinoy football talents will take center stage in new documentary entitled "Pangarap Kong World Cup".

Hosted by Atom Araullo, the documentary follows the tryouts, training, and games played by a group of 22 young kids, all members of the under-11 national football team, the Little Azkals.

The team, which was drafted from different part of the country, with many coming from underprivileged backgrounds, traveled last year with their coaches to Loughborough University in Leicestershire, United Kingdom for training sponsored by the British Council and Pru Life UK.

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The documentary captured the experiences of these young footballers as they embark on their journey to the dreams of making a name for the country in the world's number one sport. It will also show the Little Azkals' interactions with the senior members of the national football team, the Philippine Azkals.

Last Thursday, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad hosted the launch of the documentary at his Makati residence.

During the event, he acknowledged the importance of developing sport grassroots level, and spoke about how the game will help in instilling values to children.

"The passion that they will pick up from this game will last in their entire lives, whether they go on football in a higher level or simply go on as lawyers, bankers, it doesn't really matter. The game will always have an influence in their lives," he told Sun.Star.

Ambassador Ahmad added that just like neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, the Philippines has so much potential in this sport.

"If we saw more and more of this game on television here, each one will be inspired. If you go back when Japan and South Korea hosted the World Cup, they did really well. There is no reason why the Philippines can't do the same," he said.

"We could see it in the FIFA ranking. The more you play, the more players are coming up in the competition. I can see it. In the physical nature of the game, it doesn't matter if you're tall or short. Anybody can play this game," he added.

As for Azkals striker Phil Younghusband, who is also part of the documentary, he's hoping that through this endeavor, it will help boost the awareness of football in the country.

"This is something that's very exciting. We have a lot of good young players that have the potential to do really well. If football is to succeed in the Philippines, it's through these kids playing now. Hopefully with the success of the national team, the Azkals, and how football has blown up, these kids have something to inspire to," Phil said.

Phil added that there's so much potential with Filipinos excelling in this sport. He said the 22 young kids who are the subject of this documentary will show people that Pinoys can compete in the international level.

"I've seen some of them play and they have the potential. They have a lot quality, talent and they just need the support. Thankfully to the British Embassy and sponsors, they can have that opportunity to have the best training and facilities to maximize their potentials," he said.

"I see myself in them. They remind me of when I was a young kid and all I wanted to do was to play. I've been through it and I know what they need. It gives me great satisfaction to see them play, share what I know," he added.

Aside from Phil, the documentary will also feature senior Azkals players James Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong, and Rob Gier.

"Pangarap Kong World Cup," produced by Spears Activation for the British Council, will air this Sunday, August 10, on ABS-CBN. (Sunnex)

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