Though, there is much improvement to be made with our team and I think advancing out of the group is a reasonable and achievable goal for next year. Our team is beginning to realize our potential and if we can get past this hump, I think our team, in the future, will be one of the AFF teams to beat. Football in the Philippines is still relatively new here and it is starting to gain more and more popularity with women and that's ultimately what we need. We cannot get better without the support of our country and people. We know that every time we step out on the field we our playing for God, our country, and also the future of Philippine Women's Football.
Unfortunately, our success comes down to the support of our fans and the money available for our team. A lot of people don't realize how much money is needed to run a football team, let alone a national team and none of us are even paid! We talked to Malaysia in the hotel and their girls train 6 months together prior to the AFF tournament and get paid 700 USD a month each! They also have two condos provided as well as transportation.. and they get three meals a day! Our team on the other hand, is completely different. The girls are working multiple jobs, they go to school, or maybe they have put their careers on hold all together. We are scattered wherever we can stay whether it be our school dorms, ULTRA, our teammates houses, anywhere. We don't get paid. A lot of times we provide our own transportation. We don't go abroad prior to tournament to train where other teams do. We don't get the sponsorships like other teams do. Lastly, we didn't even have our final team until the week of the tournament. Up until then we had girls come in two months before and girls coming every week up until the tournament. So given our circumstances, we really are doing our best. Once our team has the support and a proper budget, we honestly can be one of the best teams in the AFF. I think the media sometimes fails to see the positives of our team. The positives outweigh the negatives as well. We made history this past week and instead of praising our effort and congratulating our team, an article ends with:
"With their early exit, the Malditas continue their disappointing performance in the competition, failing to get past the group stages for the previous five editions of the tournament."
Tell me that after you have read what we do and what we deal with if what we do is disappointing. I promise you one thing. In thhis group of girls and staff, we have heart, we have passion, and we have desire. Even if we don't get the resources that we need or could use, we will always do our best. We are Filipinos and we will always fight. LABAN!