Leddel Competes for the Philippines in Southeast Asia Games

Noah Leddel ’23 represented the Philippines at the 2023 South Asia Games in Cambodia. Photo provided.

Noah Leddel ’23, a talented soccer player on the U19 team at Northwood, has been given the incredible opportunity to represent the Philippines Under-23 National Team in international competitions. Born to a Filipino mother, Leddel’s selection is a proud moment for him and the Filipino soccer community, as well as the highest level of soccer he has achieved in his career.

Leddel summarized his experience to me, saying, “Yeah, so just to summarize, the experience of playing international football and at this level has been incredible. The treatment of us players and the professionalism of the camp from top to bottom was just amazing. We had two training sessions a day, stats, nutrition, everything taken care of, massages, physio, strict bedtime, and obviously, that’s something that can be bad, but when you’re preparing for a big tournament like this, that’s what you want really, and I’d say more than anything it was a grind eating the same hotel food  being in the same routine, but at the same time it’s such an amazing experience being together, and you’re fighting for your country.”

The Philippines National Team, also known as the Azkals, has been striving to make its mark on the global soccer stage. Leddel’s inclusion in the team adds talent and diversity to the squad. Though the team did not get quite the results they wanted, Noah says, “We had the youngest team in the tournament, and we can only go up from here… I didn’t know any of the boys really coming into this and just coming out of it with now having 20 brothers that I have a shared experience.” Leddel’s journey to this achievement has been marked by dedication and hard work. As a player, he is always striving for more and pushing himself and the players around him.

Leddel expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to play for his mother’s homeland. Leddel shared what this experience meant for him, “It means a lot that I can connect with my Filipino side and the people of the Philippines and share this experience with my Filipino Brothers. Obviously, living in Hong Kong and the USA has kind of made me feel the disconnect… being here and singing the national anthem side by side with my boys and my brothers really means a lot to me, and it makes you more passionate even for the country just to come back and keep fighting and bring the Philippines on top of Asia and competing with the likes of Japan and Korea…It’s only given me more to keep going.”

Leddel’s inclusion in the Filipino national team represents a step forward in the growth and recognition of soccer in the Philippines. The biggest driving force for this development is from the supporters, and Noah puts it best when he says, “Seeing the support for the Philippines and seeing the support for the Philippines and just the support, in general, was pretty incredible. Southeast Asia (SEA Games) is an event that happens once every two years and changes host country each year. This year, Cambodia did a really good job promoting the event and getting the general public and the people of Cambodia very hyped up for the tournament. Every game that Cambodia played would have about 30,000 fans, and we were fortunate enough to be in a group with them and play them.

Leddel also acknowledged the support and guidance he received from Northwood, teammates, and coaches. “Thank you to everyone at Northwood for supporting me and helping me get to here, and making this possible for me. Obviously, it hasn’t been easy accommodating mewhile I have been away, and I really appreciate it.”


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