Young Philippines and Singapore women's clash

The Philippines national women's football team will gamble with a mix of youthful talent but raw and inexperienced.when it takes on Singapore in back-to-back matches beginning Saturday at the PhilSports field in Pasig City. The games will be the initial test for the team since its formation two months ago. With an average age of 18, the women are trying to hone their skills for the Thailand South East Asian Games this December.

"We are actually in the exploratory stage," said co-manager Ernie Nierras of the decision to form a new team with emphasis on youth and speed."But based on what we have seen so far, we will have a stronger squad compared to the one we fielded in the 2005 SEA Games," she told the Asian Journal. The Philippnes finished fourth in the last biennial event behind champion Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.

Team officials admitted that odds are stacked against the young and inexperienced Philippine team, but team co-manager Cathy Rivilla stressed that this is a far better team than the old SEAG squad. Twenty-five-year-old Mariel Benitez, one of the few remnants of 2005 side, will be the skipper of a squad that includes Fil-Australian Nenita Dollente-Burgess.