Belles’ forward Eva Madarang has been called up to the Philippines’ national team for the upcoming South East Asia (SEA) Games.
November sees the start of the 30th edition of the SEA Games which this year is being held in the Philippines, with Madarang set to depart for a pre-tournament training camp at the end of October.
The Games run from November 30 to December 11, and Madarang spoke of her pride in being called up to represent her country in a home tournament.
“I’m so happy to be called up by my country, it’s such an honour to represent the Philippines, every time I go out to meet up with them it’s really exciting, and so I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.
“I played in the last SEA Games which was in Malaysia, but with it being in the Philippines this year it makes it so much more special, it’s such a big tournament over there, so this is going to be one of the biggest things over there which is huge for me.
“It’s so exciting and I feel incredible, the SEA Games is like a mini-Olympics so for us to host it is massive, there are going to be so many people that come to visit the country and hopefully they can see what we’re all about.”
The Philippines are in Group A of the tournament as the host nation, playing against Myanmar and Malaysia in the opening stage, and Madarang says they will be looking to improve on the fourth place they picked up in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to go out there, we know we’re going to come up against some very good teams, but we can’t wait to get started, and hopefully we can pick up a medal on home soil, that would be so special,” she added.
“We’re away as a group for a long time before the tournament starts so that will really be important for us, it’ll be a little nerve-wracking I’m sure, we’ve never had a home tournament before but I’m hopeful we’ll overcome that.
“We’re sure it’ll be such a good environment for us to play in, people in the Philippines are actually coming out to watch us, we hope we’ll get great support which I’m sure we will, hopefully we can get a few wins and win gold, that would be so special.”