Azkals captain to join Indon football club?


MANILA, Philippines – Another Philippine Azkal is being recruited to join a professional football league in Indonesia.

Alexander “Aly” Borromeo, the Azkals team captain, is still studying the offer.

Borromeo is reportedly planning to visit Jakarta, Indonesia next week to check out the team.

He said joining a foreign professional club could actually boost his skills, which in turn could help the Azkals in future tournaments.

"Experience comes along with it... That's the main reason. I could get enough exposure out there and... even help the national team along," said the 6’0” defender.

Borromeo has been playing for the national team since 2004.

He is currently enlisted in Kaya Futbol Club, a football association in the Philippines.

Last January, Azkals siblings Phil and James Younghusband were reportedly offered contracts to join the Indonesia Premier League (IPL).

The brothers, however, declined the offer.

Other national players were also recruited by pro football leagues in Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam following the Azkals' sensational run in the 2010 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.

The football leagues in Indonesia are among the most renowned in Southeast Asia.

The salary earned by a typical pro booter playing for such leagues reportedly amounts to that being earned by professional basketball players in the Philippines.

Sports analyst Chris Soler, the Azkals should welcome offers to play in international football leagues.

"Para sa akin nararapat lang iyon, especially for Aly Borromeo. He's a very tactically sound central defender. He's rock-solid at the back masasabi ko kay Aly at least the Southeast Asian level," he said.

"Napakita nila iyong galing. And in the case of the Younghusbands, it's their pace I think, iyong bilis nila with and without the ball," he added.

Soler said pro football leagues can also help improve the Nationals.

"You play with players who are better than you... Iyong natutunan doon, maidadala dito," he said.

For the players themselves, the analyst thinks that joining these leagues can be very beneficial on their quest for popularity.

"Malaki rin ang matutulong sa Azkals ng exposure na makukuha ng Younghusbands at ni Borromeo sakaling matuloy sila sa pro league," he said.

Borromeo, for his part, assure that playing for the Azkals remains as his number one priority. – With a report from TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News


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