Four newcomers have been included in the roster of the Philippine national women’s football team, just in time for another training camp this month in Sydney, Australia.
Goalkeeper Kaiya Rose Jota from Elite Clubs National League side LA Breakers FC, defender Reina Bonta from Yale University, midfielder Reinna Gabriel from Cornell University, and midfielder Meryll Serrano of Norwegian club Arna-Bjørnar have been called up to join the roster.
The four will be tested when the Filipinas go into two friendly matches against Papua New Guinea at the Western Sydney Wanderers Park on Dec. 11 and 15. They are among the players allowed to join after Coach Alen Stajcic called up 23 players for the camp.
Papua New Guinea is ranked three places higher than the Filipinas at No. 50 in the FIFA rankings.
The two matches are part of the team’s preparations for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the Filipinas are in Group A, with co-host New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway.
PFF President Mariano “Nonong” Araneta and PFF Secretary General Edwin Gastanes said they are fully supporting the team in its bid to be in its best form for the World Cup.
“The PFF wants to make sure that the team continues its improvement and the best way to do that is through camps and friendly matches,” said Araneta.
The Filipinas recently had a training camp in South America, where they played Chile twice, drawing the first match, 1-1, in Viña del Mar, before losing, 0-1, in Santiago.
“It’s been a banner year for the Filipinas,” said Gastanes, adding that the team is aiming to finish the year strong as they look ahead to