Fil-Swiss defender sees big future for Azklas

FIL-SWISS defender Michael Kempter, who took two years to finally get clearance to play for the Philippines, believes that the Azkals will get better in future international competitions.

"I see this team with a very big quality.  I think we have a bright future" said Kempter during a recent "Crossover" vodcast.

The 25-year old Kempter was supposed to make his Azkals debut against Guam in the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Asian Qualifiers Round 2 last March 26 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

But his first stint with the national team will have to wait, hoping that the COVID-19 situation in the country will be manageable come October 8, when the Philippines press its bid of advancing to the next round of the joint qualifiers.

After Guam, the Azkals will play China on Nov. 12 and Maldives on Nov. 17.

"Of course I want to win all of the three games but we have to take it step by step with the team. We still have a good chance to qualify," said Kempter.

The Philippines sits in third spot in the Group A table with seven points.

Syria leads the group with a maximum of 15 points, followed by the Chinese with seven, holding a superior goal difference over the Azkals.

Maldives is running fourth with six points while Guam remains without a point and is already eliminated in the race.

The Philippines last played on Nov. 19, absorbing a 0-1 loss to the Syrians at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Kempter, whose mother hails from Pasay City, has recently played his first competitive match for FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League, one of the European domestic club competitions that has restarted.

"After two months of break, we’re finally back here in Switzerland. After the first game, unfortunately, we lost our game in the last 10 minutes. But now, in two days we have a new game and then in five days again so we have a big new program in the next six weeks. We have 13 games here in six weeks. That’s tough," said Kempter.