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Woody thrilled to continue family legacy with the Azkals stint

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Before being called up for the Azkals, Woody Ugarte had a stellar season with Kaya on his second stint last year, sharing the honors of being the club's leading goalscorers in the AFC Cup along with former teammate OJ Porteria. (File Photo)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- Kaya midfielder Antonio Ugarte did not expect to be with the Azkals as he was preparing for the inaugural PFL season.

Until yesterday.

A last-minute replacement for Ceres' Martin Steuble, Woody was thrilled to continue the family's footballing legacy by being part of the national side that will face Nepal later in the evening when he spoke to Dugout Philippines.

"The training's been good and they help me integrate to the team in preparing for the next match," Ugarte said after the Azkals training yesterday, noting that he might be the fifth different Kaya booter to get his debut Azkals cap under Thomas Dooley this year if he played against the Solidarity Cup holders to start their third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.

For him, it will be a huge honor for him to follow into the footsteps of his grandfather Sebastian and his uncle Emilio in playing for the country.

"It's nice to get some minutes on the field and if can do well, hopefulluy we'll bring some sucess to our team and honor my grandfather," he added.

Ugarte hopes to make the most of his chance to be part of the Azkals set-up after seeing Miguel Tanton transforming his form in the AFC to a memorable debut for the country against North Korea in their final World Cup qualifier last year.

"If I could play like Miguel [Tanton] did, that would be great," he concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada