Filipinas: What’s next for the new Southeast Asia queens of football?

The Philippines National Women's Football Team reigned as 2022 AFF Women’s Champions.

Philippines Women's National Football team stand for their national anthem.
The Philippines Women's National Football team emerged as winners at the recently concluded 2022 AFF Women’s Championship. (Photo by Philippine Women’s National Football Team)

After their first historic World Cup qualification and SEA Games bronze finish, the Philippines women’s national team now reign as the new Southeast Asia queens of football.

Having defeated Thailand 3–0 at the recently concluded AFF Women’s Championship, the Filipinas lifted their first international football trophy and made another leap in their accomplishments this year.

The team has a lot in store for the increasing number of football fans in the country. Next up, the Filipinas plan to host a tri-nation tournament during the international window this November. Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta said Jamaica and Uzbekistan are possible opponents for the tournament.

International friendlies against Costa Rica are also on the slate. The PFF President announced they are even working on other matches against New Zealand and an African team this year.

Following its success in AFF Women’s Championship, PFF also said there are plans to launch a local women’s league. The league will help develop more players and help sustain both player fitness levels and match competitions.

Coach Alen Stajcic leads the Philippines women’s national team. Stajcic previously spent some years as head coach of the Australia women’s national team (or Matildas). In 2021, he was appointed to lead the Philippine squad that is now composed of both amateur and professional players from the Philippines, Japan, the US, Sweden, Norway, and more.

In a span of six months, the Filipinas were able to achieve historical milestones in Philippine football history.

Their recent accomplishments range from qualifying for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup semi-finals to bagging bronze in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games. And now they’ve won gold in the AFF Women’s Championship.

The Filipinas are bound to climb greater hills as they prepare for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. It’s an opportunity that will set Philippine football on the global stage.

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