For national team co-captain Patrice Impelido, playing for the Philippines has always been a different experience and will always be a privilege.
Since making her Philippine Women’s National Team debut in 2005, Impelido has been one of the team’s stalwart in every tournament the team has participated in.
“(Being part of the national team is) a different experience, because we’re not playing for our schools or clubs, we are playing for the country,” said Impelido. “(It) is a privilege to represent the country.”
As part of the national team, Impelido sees the chance of playing in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and possibly qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 as her motivation to work hard and sacrifice a lot for the country.
“In 2013, we almost made it (through the Asian Cup and it) was enough motivation for me,” said Impelido. “Last year (during the Qualifiers) in Tajikistan we made it happen. I’m excited for (what will come in) Jordan.”
Playing against the likes of Jordan, China PR, and Thailand is a daunting challenge for the team. However, the midfielder is eyeing a chance to get even against Thailand after their Southeast Asian rivals have dealt the Philippines a string of defeats in all competitions.
“(There is) a revenge factor against Thailand,” continued Impelido. “They have been beating us, and I do hope that we beat them this time.”
Qualifying for the Women’s Asian Cup has been memorable for the midfielder, but she hopes that this chance that they have now will spark the further development of Women’s football not only in the Philippines, but also across the region.
“(Our campaign) should pave the way for Women’s football in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia,” added Impelido. “Hopefully we do well in Jordan.”
Photo from Mia Montayre