Ali Maali (Sharjah)
The Philippines team is a very special case in the first group of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the 2023 Asian Cup, which is currently being held at the Sharjah Club Stadium. The Syrian national team has 21 points out of 7 matches.
The different nationalities of the so-called “stray dogs” team made many believe that it might come as a surprise, especially since 9 out of 11 players participated against the Chinese dragon from different nationalities. Among these stars, there is a player who still carries love, cordiality and great adoration for the UAE in which he was born, the 25-year-old defender Luke Woodland, who was born in Abu Dhabi on June 21, 1995, to an English father and a Filipino mother.
“Luke Woodland” remained for two years in Abu Dhabi, then moved to England and lived in Liverpool. The player’s relationship with the place of his birth was not cut off, so he kept visiting from time to time, and even when the player grew up and created private means of communication for him, he placed 3 flags on his Twitter, which are: The flag of the Emirates, the Philippines and England, which confirms the great connection between him and his place of birth.
The player does not leave a special occasion without congratulating and affirming his love, and this is the second time that the player returns to the UAE as an international player in his country, as it was the first time in the 2019 Asian Cup finals, and it was the first time that the Philippines team qualified for this major continental event, Today, he is among the ranks of the “stray dogs” in the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers.
After Locke left the Emirates and settled in Liverpool, he began to turn to the football field, joining at the age of eight to the Bolton Wanderers team, and he was named Player of the Year twice, and was granted a scholarship at the age of 15 years for two years, then joined Oldham Club Athletic is in the first division on loan, and he moved to the Thai league with the Suphan Buri team 2018, then he moved to the Malaysian team Kuala Lumpur in 2019, and he is currently returning to the Thai league with the Ratchaburi team. Locke played with the England U-16, 17, and 18 teams, before joining the Philippine national team in 2015, and participated in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and maintained his place in the national team despite the different training schools that led the Philippines in recent years.