DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Notwithstanding the long journey to this Central Asian city, Ceres-Negros midfielder Stephan Schrock insists they haven’t lost sight of their target here.
“The travel is too long, too much,” said Schrock after the first training session here at the pitch outside Pamir Stadium. “Nevertheless, we’re here to make a milestone for Philippine football.”
Schrock and the Busmen, who traveled 27 hours from Manila to reach the Tajik capital, clash with Tajik champions Istiklol on Tuesday night in the first leg of the AFC Cup inter-zone semifinals at Pamir Stadium.
The Busmen looked sharp even after the long journey and Schrock believes the players’ intensity in training will improve in the next few days.
“I think we will get better,” said Schock. “There were some tired legs in training, but tomorrow and in the next few days, it will be gone.”
The veteran midfielder, who played for Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, said they are focused on getting a result against Istiklol. The return leg of the tie is set on Sept. 12 in Bacolod.
“There’s nothing else on our minds except this game (on Tuesday),” said Schrock. “We can take a big step with a result here.”
Photo from AFC Cup/Lagardere Sports