Filipinas gets Beard boost, see returnees for provisional WWC squad

Angela Beard. Western United

by Drew Malihan

MANILA - Familiar faces, some returnees, and a backline buff caps off the 29-member provisional Philippine Women's National Football Team's squad ahead of their FIFA Women's World Cup debut this July.

An international eligibility switch headlined the squad announcement as A-League Women and Western United defender Angela Beard was included in Alen Stajcic's side.

Beard, has  played for 12 matches for the Melbourne-based squad this season, which saw themselves in the league Grand final in  a losing effort against Sydney FC.

The 25-year-old has also made the under-17 and under-20 Australia women's sides, as well as three caps for the senior Matildas in 2021 against Ireland, Brazil, and the USA.

Beard isn't the only A-League player in the squad as she will be joined by her teammate Jacklyn Sawicki and Western Sydney Wanderer's forward Sarina Bolden.

Several recalls were also handed by the team as Kaiya Jota, Dominique Randle, Ryley Bugay and Jessica Miclat returned to the squad to the support of the  PWNFT faithful..

The entire squad list is as follows:

Goalkeepers: Kiara Fontanilla (Central Coast Mariners), Kaiya Jota (Stanford Cardinal), Olivia McDaniel (Free agent), Inna Palacios (Kaya FC-Iloilo)

Defenders: Maya Alcantara (Georgetown Hoyas), Alicia Barker (Pacific Northwest), Angela Beard (Western United), Reina Bonta (Santos), Malea Cesar (Blacktown City), Jessika Cowart (Kalmar), Sofia Harrison (Free agent), Hali Long (Kaya FC-Iloilo), Dominique Randle (Þór/KA)

Midfielders: Tahnai Annis (Þór/KA), Ryley Bugay (Free agent), Anicka Castañeda (Mt. Druitt Town Rangers), Kaya Hawkinson (Cal State Fullerton Titans), Sara Eggesvik (KIL/Hemne), Eva Madarang (Blacktown Spartans), Jessica Miclat (Eskilstuna United), Isabella Pasion (Lebanon Trail HS), Quinley Quezada (Red Star Belgrade), Jacklyv Sawicki (Western United)

Forwards: Sarina Bolden (Western Sydney Wanderers), Isabella Flanigan (West Virginia Mountaineers), Carleigh Frilles (Blacktown Spartans), Katrina Guillou (Piteå), Chandler McDaniel (Unattached), Meryll Serrano (Stabæk)

Filipinas manager Jefferson Cheng looks forward to the team's debut stint.

“This is the biggest stage in women’s football and the Filipinas will be shining a spotlight on the country. The team wants to make the country proud that’s why the PFF and the management are doing everything possible to prepare the team,” quips Cheng in a statement.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner