30 June 2020

No formal withdrawal yet from Ceres-Negros – PFL

MANILA – Three-time League champions Ceres-Negros FC has not yet formally withdrawn from the 2020 Philippines Football League (PFL), which will tentatively start next month.
PFL commissioner Coco Torre told Panay News over the weekend that the Negros Occidental-based football club has not yet submitted a letter indicating its formal withdrawal from the tournament.
“The PFL cannot issue a comment yet [on Ceres-Negros’ withdrawal] since the team has not yet submitted a formal letter of withdrawal,” Torre said.
Filipino football fans were stunned after reports swirled around that Ceres-Negros is disbanding its powerhouse roster.
The Ceres-Negros was one of the most successful football clubs in the local football scene winning three PFL championships, one Copa Paulino Alcantara gold and another United Football League crown.
Apart from its success locally, Ceres-Negros has also represented the country several times in the Asian Football Confederation Cup, with its highest achievement being ASEAN zonal champions in 2017.
If ever Ceres-Negros’ departure will push through, the PFL will be left with just six teams in Azkals Developmental Team, Global Makati FC, Kaya FC-Iloilo, Mendiola FC 1991, Philippine Air Force FC, and Stallion Laguna FC./PN

28 June 2020

Aussie defender back home after Filipino nightmare

Australian centre back Josh Grommen is on the hunt for a new club with the future of the Phillipines Football League season in serious doubt.


Grommen made five appearances for Filipino side Ceres-Negros this year, scoring one goal in the AFC Cup, since joining them from Thai club Sukhothai in January before the season was shut down because of the Coronavirus.

The Philippines Football League was supposed to start on March 21, but now is expected to start in July.
The island country has been hit hard by the pandemic, with more than 34,000 cases and over 1,120 deaths.

Grommen was in lockdown for 12 weeks in his 50 square metre apartment in the city of Bacolod, but has now returned to Australia after his club collapsed.

“It’s not the best for the club as Ceres is a big team in Asia." he told The World Game.

“In regards to Philippines football, who knows what will happen as the amount of cases is growing and I don’t know if teams can afford to pay players anymore.

“The virus is pretty bad at the moment in the Philippines as they have been getting around 600 cases a day.”

Founded in 2012, Ceres-Negros are one of the biggest clubs in the south-east Asian country, and have won the Philippines Football League for the past three years in a row.
They went into the qualifying rounds for the Asian Champions League this year but were knocked out in a 2-0 loss to FC Tokyo.

Grommen admits he struggled being in severe lockdown, unable to train and reduced to doing stair runs and core strength in his apartment building in a bid to stay fit. But the 23-year-old is now glad to be home.
“I just got out of quarantine here in Sydney so it’s good to have freedom after being in lockdown in the Philippines for three months,” he said.

“The first two months we weren’t allowed to leave our apartment unless we went to buy groceries so we were pretty much in prison.
I had my missus with me at the time so it was good she kept me company, although some days we argued as you would expect being in a small place.”

The centre back, who spent time with Brisbane Roar’s reserves as a youngster, is now a free agent but is unsure where his next move will be.

“At the moment I’m looking into clubs back in south-east Asia such as Thailand, maybe even India, but with the whole virus situation it’s currently impossible to go overseas as borders are currently closed till maybe next year,” he said.

“I’ve been looking into NPL in Brisbane just to stay match-fit till things get better.”

Born and raised in Brisbane, Grommen came through the Queensland Academy of Sport and the Roar’s youth team.

He has represented the Azkals at Under-22 and Under-23 national level and has had spells playing in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

27 June 2020

Adios, Ceres-Negros?

 Adrian Stewart Co

Filipino football fans were stunned on Friday morning after reports swirled around that defending Philippines Football League (PFL) champions Ceres-Negros FC is disbanding its powerhouse roster.
It was 4:29 a.m. of Friday when Filipino Football broke the news on the dissolution of the Negros Occidental-based football club and with some of its players moving out.
Upon reading the tweet, we asked around those who have knowledge on the matter and indeed disbanding the Ceres-Negros ahead of the 2020 PFL season is on the table.
However, we learned from a separate source that the Philippine Football Federation is doing its best to convince the Busmen management to reconsider its decision but nothing is close so far.
Arguably, Ceres-Negros was one of the most famous squads in the PFL with its huge fan base in Negros Occidental and their regional rivalry with Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo was the most anticipated match.
The Ceres-Negros was one of the most successful football clubs in the local football scene winning three PFL championships, one Copa Paulino Alcantara gold and another United Football League crown.
Apart from its success locally, the Busmen have also represented the country several times in the Asian Football Confederation Cup, with its highest achievement was reaching the ASEAN zonal finals.
Among the players in Ceres-Negros roster were national men’s football team mainstays Stephan Schrock, Roland Muller, Sean Kane, Mike Ott, Manny Ott, Jose Elmer Porteria, Dylan de Bruycker, Junior Munoz, Jeffrey Christiaens, and Dennis Villanueva.
The Busmen also have a loaded cast of foreign players in Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon, Senegalese Robert Lopez Mendy, Spanish Manuel Super Herrera, and Japanese Takashi Odawara.
If ever Ceres-Negros’ departure will push through, the PFL will be left with just six teams in Azkals Developmental Team, Global Makati FC, Kaya FC-Iloilo, Mendiola FC 1991, Philippine Air Force FC, and Stallion Laguna FC.
If there is one fake news I can write, I am hoping that this is the one since the local football scene will not be complete with the absence of the Ceres-Negros./PN

26 June 2020

News update Ceres-Negros

NEWS UPDATE: Amid reports of disbandment, there was no formal withdrawal yet from three-time champions Ceres-Negros FC, a Philippines Football League (PFL) official told Panay News on Friday. Via Adrian Stewart Co/PN

25 June 2020

Ceres-Negros withdrawing from PFL ?

Ceres-Negros FC seems to have folded and will not compete in PFL ?

A source told : "Some in PFF trying to salvage and find a new sponsor but with current situation that looks dim."

To be updated....

James Younghusband Announces His Retirement From Football

Philippine Men’s National Team and Ceres-Negros FC midfielder James Younghusband announced his retirement from football today, at age 33.
“Time to say goodbye. Thank you for the amazing memories. I have loved playing this game. Thank you to my family, bosses, managers, coaches, team mates, opponents and all my supporters who have been part of my professional career. I feel lucky to have experienced wonderful memories and thankful for every moment of my time with my clubs and country,” said Younghusband in a statement.
The midfielder made his Philippine debut with the Under-23 National Team in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games that was held in Bacolod in 2005 together with younger brother Phil.
Younghusband went on to play for the Men’s National Team for a total of 101 appearances having scored 12 goals between 2006 until 2019. He made his last appearance for the country against Kyrgyz Republic in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 in January 2019.
Among his feats for the country were the equalizer against Laos in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifiers, the win over Vietnam in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, the vital away goal against Mongolia in the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Qualifiers in 2011, the comeback against DPR Korea in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 2016, and the win against Tajikistan in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifiers in 2018.
He scored his 12th goal for the country in the 2-1 loss against Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 semi-final second leg at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Younghusband also had an illustrious career at club level. A product of the Chelsea FC Youth Academy in England, he played for Philippines Football League clubs FC Meralco Manila, Davao Aguilas FC, and Ceres-Negros FC. He capped off his professional career with the PFL and Copa Paulino Alcantara double last year for the busmen.
“We thank James Younghusband for his valuable contributions to the growth of the sport in the country,” PFF president Mariano Araneta stated.
“May his influence on and off the pitch inspire all young players who aspire to play for the country,” PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes added.

14 June 2020

Azkals looking for home venue for WCQ games

By Olmin Leyba
MANILA, Philippines — With Rizal Memorial Stadium closed off, the Philippine Football Federation is looking for an alternative home venue for the Azkals should the planned resumption of the World Cup Qualifiers push through in October.
PFF president Nonong Araneta said the federation is considering the PFF National Football Center in Carmona, Cavite and Biñan Stadium in Laguna as possible sites.
According to the Asian Football Confederation, the shelved matches in the WCQ will be played on Oct. 8 and 13 and Nov. 12 and 17.
Based on the proposed schedule, the Azkals will resume their bid at home against Guam on Oct. 8 and Maldives on Nov. 17. In between, they will play away in China on Nov. 12.
“Wala pa yung Rizal, ayaw pa ipagamit ng PSC. And since wala pa namang spectators and they won’t be too strict on the stadium requirements, Carmona or Biñan tayo, kung papayag ang Biñan,” Araneta told The STAR.
Biñan hosted the women’s competitions of the last Southeast Asian Games while the Carmona facility is the PFF’s training hub for the national team, having an international-sized FIFA turf.
Rizal, the original home ground against Guam and Maldives, isn’t a viable option for now as stadium manager PSC has stopped all activities until end of the year.
At the same time, the Rizal turf is situated near the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, which is being used as a quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients along with Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
“We want to play the Guam and Maldives games in the Philippines, if everything is okay by that time,” said Araneta.
As to the road fixture in China, the PFF chief said if there are no travel restrictions or government prohibitions by then, the Azkals will have to take this trip.
“Kung itutuloy ng China at wala namang kaso or (travel) ban, dapat puntahan natin,” he said.
Araneta stressed that the WCQ restart is still “fluid” at this point.
“As of now, tentative schedule pa yung October and November. Hopefully by August or September we’ll have a clearer picture,” he said.             

06 June 2020

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers- New Match Days !

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - Philippines :
Oct 8 PHILIPPINES vs Guam Nov 12 China vs PHILIPPINES Nov 17 PHILIPPINES vs Maldives

Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), in consultation with FIFA, has today announced the proposed match dates for the remaining matches of Round 2 in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers, which were originally scheduled to take place in March and June 2020.

Matchdays 7 and 8 are now scheduled to take place on October 8 and 13, 2020 respectively while Matchdays 9 and 10 are due to kick off on November 12 and 17, 2020.
The latest decision has been taken with a view to completing the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 by November 2020 and to commence the subsequent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Asian Qualifiers Final Round as well as the play-off matches for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Round 3 Qualifiers by the March 2021 match dates in the FIFA International Calendar.
The AFC will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all teams, officials, fans and stakeholders as well as Government travel and medical restrictions and will notify all parties should there be a need to reassess the match schedules due to the ever-evolving impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.