Playing two friendlies every week will get the Philippine national women’s football team in shape as it seeks to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Newly-named national coach Alen Stajcic said this as the Filipina booters continued to prepare for their coming games in Group B of the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup that will be held in India this January.
“Everything needs to improve. In the last tournament, they struggled to score against big countries. But they’re still competitive,” said Stajcic in a Zoom huddle with scribes on Tuesday.
The new national coach discussed the team’s preparations 11 days after Team Philippines reached its highest FIFA Women’s Ranking of 64th last Dec. 10.
The rise in the rankings came after the Philippines successfully joined the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers last September, besting both Nepal and Hong Kong to qualify for the final competition.
Stajcic is now in Irvine, California with the national squad and members of the coaching staff. They are in the process of selecting their lineup for the tournament in India.
The former national coach of the Australian national team believes that it will be a challenging experience for the Philippines to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“For their first appearance in a competition in a long time, the team showed that it can sort of compete. But we definitely have to improve in every facet,” said Stajcic.
The Philippines is in the same group with former Asian Football Confederation Women’s Asian Cup champion Australia and Southeast Asian countries Thailand and Indonesia.
Host India is with China, Chinese Taipei and Iran in Group A.
On the other hand, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar are in Group C.
Coach Marlon Maro recently stepped down from his duties as head coach of the Philippine Malditas national women’s team to give way to Stajcic.