Tuesday, February 28, 2012. 41st Floor Discovery Suites. Selamat datang! Today was the manager's meeting and the pre-match press conference for the Philippines-Malaysia International Friendly that will be played the following day. Finally got to meet and talk with Tigers' head coach Datuk Krishnasamy Rajagopal. It was Coach K who helped build Malaysia's current program where they have won every major football title in Southeast Asia in the past four years. Coach K was in Manila last year for a talk but I was unable to attend. We spoke for about 15 minutes where we talked about the Sea Games, the Suzuki Cup, and the Malaysia-Liverpool friendly last year. He is well aware of the Philippine team and was pleasantly surprised by the ascent that began in the 2010 Suzuki Cup. He too, is aware that the last time Malaysia played at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, they tasted defeat. "History is history. That was 21 years ago. If a team plays well, they can upset anyone in any situation. But the Philippines is on the right track. I know it is not easy. We built the program in 2003 and we saw the benefits in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Hopefully, we can sustain it."
Coach K also complimented Stephan Schrock, Neil Etheridge, Chieffy Caligdong and the Younghusband brothers as those who have made the biggest strides. "Every one has played better. But those five stand out."
With the lads -- Neil Etheridge, Phil Younghusband, Jason Sabio, and Michael Weiss post-press con. They are all excited to play the champs. All I can say is, "Isang tulog na lang."