Bangkok FC coach sees Gilmar Lynch's U-23 Azkals call-up as "special moment"

Gilmar Lynch is set to join the U-23 Azkals for the SEA Games.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Bangkok Football Club coach Sean Sainsbury is glad to see one of his players being called up to a national team despite the club playing in the third-tier Omsin League Pro.

What makes it even more interesting that it was one of Bangkok FC's foreign players who got the shot for national team duty in Filipino striker Gilmar Lynch, who was recently named into the training pool for the Philippine Azkals' under-23 team that will play in the Southeast Asian Games later this year.

"It’s always a special moment for the players when they get a national team call up. For the club it represents the level of players we have and the hard work we put in to helping them be the best they can be," said Sainsbury.

Lynch, who is more popularly known by his mononym Gilmar, once had a promising professional football career domestically, strutting his wares in the Philippines Football League and its predecessor, the United Football League with some seeing him as a prospect for the Azkals' first team.

But he too became a prodigal son of sorts due to personal issues, and after a short-lived spell with Global Makati, then known as Global Cebu, last season, he found himself packing for the Thai capital, joining Bangkok FC midway into the season.

Bangkok FC is currently in fifth place in the Upper Region table with 27 points after 18 matches, but while the club can still get promoted to the M-150 Championship mathematically, Sainsbury basically conceded in the race for the lone promotion spot for the Upper Region with Khonkaen United comfortably ahead of the pack, making his decision to let Lynch train for the U-23 Azkals an easier move.

"We are probably adrift of realistically getting promoted so it seems the right thing to do to let Gilmar have the opportunity to go to this national team camp," Sainsbury added.

However, he too said that the situation would have been different if Bangkok FC was just neck-to-neck with Khonkaen United.

"If we were close to getting promoted it might be harder to allow him to go as it's outside of the designated FIFA days," Sainsbury bared.

The U-23 Azkals set their training camp from Aug. 13-29.

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