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Azkals call up 27 for AFF Suzuki Cup including new man Bienvenido Maranon

35-year-old striker Bienvenido Maranon will represent Philippines for the first time at AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 after getting his citizenship earlier this year in July. MARK R CRISTINO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Philippines have announced a 27-man squad for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup, which includes the recently-naturalised Bienvenido Maranon.

The Spanish-born Maranon, who has been plying his trade in Philippines since 2015 and gained citizenship in July, will be a key addition for the Azkals in attack given his free-scoring ways since arriving in Southeast Asia.

Maranon is a four-time Philippine Football League champion with United City, previously known as Ceres-Negros, and is also the all-time top scorer in the AFC Cup, Asian football's second tier club competition, with 35 goals.

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Although this will be his first foray in international football, the 35-year-old's experience could be crucial in an Azkals squad that only boasts ten players with ten caps or more.

Captain Stephan Schrock, best known for his time in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt, is likely play an integral role in Philippines' fortunes, along with seasoned campaigners such as Patrick Reichelt, Iain Ramsay and Amani Aguinaldo.

Philippines coach Scott Cooper has not been afraid to put his faith in youth by calling up nine players from the Azkals Development Team, essentially a national age-group team that also participate as a club in the PFL.

Following an influx of fresh faces in the recent Asian second-round qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Azkals also welcome two overseas-based players that will represent them for the first time in Djurgardens defender Jesper Nyholm and 23-year-old midfielder Harry Foll, who currently plays in Germany with Villingen.

Philippines squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup

Goalkeepers: Bernd Schipmann (Ratchaburi Mitr Phol), Quincy Kammeraad (ADT), Kevin Ray Mendoza (Kuala Lumpur City)

Defenders: Amani Aguinaldo (Nongbua Pitchaya), Justin Baas (United City), Matthew Custodio, Mar Diano, Yrick Gallantes, Christian Rontini (ADT), Jesper Nyholm (Djurgardens), Daisuke Sato (Suphanburi), Martin Steuble (Muangkan United), Jefferson Tabinas (Mito Hollyhock)

Midfielders: Oliver Bias, Dennis Chung, Oskari Kekkonen, Sandro Reyes (ADT), Kenshiro Daniels (Kaya FC-Iloilo), Harry Foll (Villingen), Kevin Ingreso (BG Pathum United), Amin Nazari, Mike Ott, Stephan Schrock (United City), Iain Ramsay (Nongbua Pitchaya)

Forwards: Angel Guirado (Alhaurin de la Torre), Bienvenido Maranon (United City), Patrick Reichelt (Suphanburi)