Gerrit Holtmann listed in Azkals' pool for FAS Tri-Nation Series

Gerrit Holtmann is finally set for his much-awaited Azkals debut. Bundesliga (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Rising Bundesliga star Gerrit Holtmann could be set for his much-awaited debut with the Philippine Azkals.

The Philippine Football Federation revealed on Saturday that the Bochum striker is part of the 25-man pool that will be considered for the Azkals' roster against Southeast Asian rivals Singapore and Malaysia in a mini-tournament called the FAS Tri-Nation Series from March 23-29.

The announcement easily makes Holtmann, who became well known for blitzing past the backline and scored a highlight-reel goal in Bochum's win over Mainz which was named Goal of the Year by the Bundesliga, the most high-profile player in the Azkals' pool.

Joining Holtmann as the Azkals' forwards for the pocket tourney are United Clark's Mark Hartmann, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey's OJ Porteria, Prachuap's Patrick Reichelt, and Johor's Bienve Maranon, the Azkals' naturalized player.

Meanwhile, the Azkals pool is packed with midfielders, namely, Azkals Development Team's Oliver Bias, Nakhon Ratchasima's Dylan De Bruycker and Dennis Villanueva, Kaya Iloilo's Jesse Curran and Oskari Kekkonen, Villingen's Harry Foll, Samut Prakan's Kevin Ingreso, Terengganu's Manny Ott, Nongbua's Iain Ramsay, Erzgebirge Aue's Patrick Strauss, and former United Clark star Stephan Schrock, who will once again be the national team captain.

Meanwhile, two defenders are making their Azkals debuts as well, namely Buriram's Diego Bardanca and UD San Pedro's Enrique Linares.

Joining them in the backline are Nongbua's Amani Aguinaldo, Melaka's Justin Baas, Ratchaburi's Daisuke Sato, and JDT's Carli De Murga.

On the other hand, Birmingham's Neil Etheridge will make his Azkals return as he will be the national team's primary goalkeeper again.

Joining him are Kuala Lumpur's Kevin Hannsen and ADT's Quincy Kammeraad.

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