WOW WOW WOW!
It is hard to begin that text to me. I am absolutely over the moon with that shirt for a number of reasons:
1. It fills another gap, which is getting rare nowadays. This makes it only 2 (!) missing in Asia: Kuwait and North Korea. This shirt in fact is probably the last huge step to take towards finally finishing the Asian continent as the first REAL task. The Azkals did and do some merchandising on their homepage - however their web shop never worked and their support mail never replied to me unfortunately.
2. I absolutely love the Azkals for some reason. Maybe because a lot of "Germans" play for them (like Manuel Ott or arguably the best Philippine football Stephan Schröck). Maybe just because the team never had any huge successes in football, but the people and fans seem to be crazy for football. Or maybe just because I am just fascinated by the country itself, which seems to be so diverse in many aspects and probably one of the most amazing on planet earth.
3. I got it from the player itself as a donation for the collection. Approximately one year after I first wrote Rob Gier on Facebook he suddenly came back to me telling that he rarely uses Facebook and just read my mail. He continued saying that he would happily help me. Of course he stood to his word and send me this beauty of a shirt, which will of course get a very special place within my collection. There is really nothing more valuable and more appreciated to me than getting help by a player or FA worker. Not because the shirt is matchworn (which is nice, too), but because it somehow is the reason I fell so much in love with this hobby. It is without any doubts the communication with people from all over the world and the stories it brings. Both got true here.
4. It is not by just ANY player. It just came from Rob Gier, who is not only the captain of the Azkals, but probably also the only non-league player who leads a national team representing nearly 100 million people! Isn't that truely amazing! I can juss guess how bizarre it must be to play for his club Ascot United in front of a few hundreds of fans in the 9th English tier, catch a plane, and then play in front of millions of people on TV for your country. If you ask me, Rob Gier is what football is all about. Even though he is not a pro and "only" plays in a non-league club he is working hard like Ronaldo or Messi to stay in shape and represent 100 million people properly. And in fact he does! Not by accident he became captain, is bossing the Azkals defence and got more than 60 calls for the Philippines national team.
This post is getting much too long, so I will only close with a huge THANK YOU to Rob Gier! I wish you and the Azkals all the best for the future and will keep fingers crossed that you can finally qualify for an Asian Cup. If you ask me, the qualifying group seems quite reasonable with only Uzbekistan being a very top team in Asia in your group. I am confident you can lead the Azkals to the second place in that group and hopefully to the Asian Cup (at least). Keep going!