AFTER four days of rigid training in Negros football pitches under German mentor Hans Michael Weiss, the Philippine Football Team Azkals will taste their first test as they clash against the Negros Selection at 4 p.m. today at the Panaad Sports Stadium in Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Azkals' team captain Aly Borromeo on Sunday admitted that they are expecting a hard game against the local selection which is composed of several former national team standouts. "We expect that they will play hard against us and will try to make a point. We know that players from Negros play very well," Borromeo said.
After arriving last Saturday, Borromeo felt good to get back on training in Bacolod as they look forward to play against Mongolia next week, February 9, for the 2012 AFC-Challenge Cup qualifying round.
Borromeo also lauded the warm hospitality of the local fans in Bacolod, which will serve as an inspiration in the team's determination to win the game.
Meanwhile, James and Phil Younghusband also joined yesterday's practice at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos pitch following their 5:41 a.m. arrival at the New Silay-Bacolod Airport.
On the other hand, Weiss said it's good that Borromeo and the Younghusband brothers had already joined the squad. "We have great expectations from them but we don't want to push them too much, so we need to find other ways to score," he explained.
Weiss also admitted that there are several players in Team B, who performed well and also deserve playing time.
According to team coordinating officer Patrick Ace Bright, two other Fil-foreign players are expected to suit up for the Azkals in next week's match.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, midfielder Ray Anthony Jónsson, Rob Gier and Jason de Jong are expected to arrive on February 6. (Jerome S. Galunan Jr.)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 31, 2011.
ATENEO de Davao University's explosive striker Joana Marie Adao was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the recent Rizal Football Association (Rifa) Cup International Football Festival at the Ateneo de Manila in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
The individual award handed out to Adao as the best performer in the tournament made it a double celebration for Ateneo, which also on the championship in the 12-under category over the Victory Christian International School-Philippine Army.
Adao scored the winning goal for Ateneo with five minutes remaining in the titular showdown that was played under a driving rain and sparked a joyous celebration for the Ateneo squad.
With the win, Ateneo de Davao dethroned Victory Christian International School and avenged the loss it suffered to the same team in last year's edition of the Rifa Cup.
Adao was also named MVP when Ateneo won its 4th straight crown in the 12-under division of the Alaska Cup last year, scoring all four goals in the finals. (CRAM)
THE FIRST meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG) of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) yesterday at the Sarrosa International Hotel and Residential Suites was declared successful with Glenn Caritativo of the Tarlac Football Association (FA) saying it was the best board meeting he has ever attended.
This was echoed by PFF chairman Mariano “Nono” Araneta (Iloilo FA) and Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami, who heads the Leyte FA. Araneta said they were able to discuss a lot of programs for the development of Philippine football.
“We can now move forward and look at the future of football in the country and with the entry of sponsors, we now have the resources to implement programs,” said Araneta right after the meeting was adjourned.
Palami, whose appointment as team manager of the Philippine Azkals was finally formalized, said the way the board conducted the meeting yesterday was an indication of where Philippine football is going.
“With the way the board discussed and resolved topics yesterday, Philippine football is in for a good ride. I am confident that football is here to stay,” Palami said.
Although his appointment did not mean that the PFF would compensate him for all the expenses for the Azkals that came out of his pockets, Palami said this does not matter because he is doing it for the love of the sport and the country.
Likewise, Araneta has declined receiving more compensation as chairman of the PFF.
Caritativo said that the PFF should make it known to the whole country that the federation is now under a new leadership with new members of the board, which means new hope for Philippine football.
Juan Luis Carpio, who heads the Naga FA also credited all football associations for removing Jose Mari Martinez, who did not do his job as chairman of the PFF.
The first BOG meeting was attended by all of its 12 members except one, Ramon Manlunas of the Bukidnon FA, as he was attending prior commitments.
With the new PFF administration, various national tournaments will be undertaken as soon as next month or early March.
National tournaments will be conducted in the Under-16, U19 and U23, which would also be made as selection for the national teams who will be seeing action in Asian Federation Confederation (AFC) tournaments abroad. A “Festival of Football” will also be conducted for the U14 girls and U13 boys.
Most exciting that was approved by the board yesterday is the “club championship,” which is open to all club members under all FAs.
A provincial eliminations will be conducted with the winners representing the province in the regional eliminations and on to the national finals.
Also yesterday, committee heads were appointed by Araneta.
Cebu FA president Richard Montayre was appointed to head the grassroots and youth development committee. Dick Emperado (Negros Oriental FA) was appointed to head the competition committee formerly known as tournament committee; Arturo Pacificador (Laguna FA) for finance; Mike Batiles for referees; Carpio for membership; Caritativo for media/press; Charlie Cojuangco (Negros Occidental FA) for technical and Carlo Rodriguez for women's committee.
RUNNING’s loss is Philippine football’s huge gain.
Smart sports marketing and special projects head Patrick Gregorio said Smart may not be able to offer the same financial support to running this year as they had last year because the company will increase its funding for Philippine football.
The increase? P80 million.
“This is the commitment of Smart for Philippine football. Our chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, is really excited to support the sport,” Gregorio told Sun.Star Cebu after his presentation of the Smart football program during the Philippine Football Federation Board of Governors Meeting at Sarrosa Hotel yesterday.
The P80-million, 10-year program is geared toward two fronts—support for the national men’s team and the establishment of a Filipino Premier League.
Smart, which is also actively involved in the PBA, Asia’s first professional basketball league, wants to establish a league for locals and has identified four companies who are willing to sponsor teams—Smart, Meralco, Maynilad, Cignal TV-TV5.
Gregorio said whatever those companies will spend for their team is not included in the P80-million package. “That’s just the minimum, so it can even go higher,” said Gregorio.
After returning from the group phase of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup last December, Pangilinan was the first to offer his support and gave P1 million for the team.
“That was just testing the waters,” Gregorio said. “Pag pumasok ang Smart, we really give our commitment.” One of the teams could even be based in Cebu.
“We are looking at the possibility of a Smart football team in Cebu for the premier league,” said James Albert S. Bernas, the Wireless Community Solutions Department Head.
The PFF, led by its president Mariano Araneta, and Pangilinan, are expected to announce the deal once everything is finalized in the next few days.
“We just hope that the PFF can fast-track the development of a football pitch,” said Gregorio
13:00 Sunken Garden United FC vs Lions FC Alabang Country Club 13:00 Stallions FC vs Pasargad FC Alabang Country Club 15:00 Union FC vs Green Archers Orient Freight Game Postponed 16:30 Japan FC vs Nomads FC Nomads Sports Club, Merville 18:30 Dolphins FC vs Union Internacional Manila Nomads Sports Club, Merville
It is a laudable move to bring big events to Bacolod City like the upcoming football match between the Phl Azkals and Mongolia on February 9, 2011. However, as of this time, no official communication or coordination so far reached the local officials of the city.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said, he welcomes activities to the city, but he has not received any official communication about the Panaad footbal match here.
Councilor Caesar Distrito is even urging Bacolodnons to support this event. However, it is sad to note that the organizer of this event forgot to coordinate with city officials.
Whatever happens during the event, the image of Bacolod City is at stake.
There are some football enthusiasts from outside Bacolod who called up City Hall regarding the event, but were surprised to know the failure of the organizer to coordinate with the city officials.
Allegedly, the only contact person referred by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA), whose contact person can not give full details of the event.
City officials said, what they need from the organizer is respect to the authority of the city, not necessarily the person. Political idiocyncracy must be taken out already, but credence and professionalism should prevail, Distrito stressed.*
Since they arrived in Negros Occidental on Wednesday for their training in preparation for their game on Feb. 9 against Mongolia in the AFC Challenge Cup, the Philippine men’s football team members, the Azkals, have been followed everywhere they go by a crowd, mostly of females, wanting autographs and to take pictures.
It was the same excitement that met them yesterday at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos, where the team had their afternoon practice.
With 30 university security personnel deployed to secure the football field, the Azkals had their practice amidst the screaming crowd of students, from grade schoolers to college coeds, who trooped to the pitch to watch the team.
But instead of getting distracted, the Azkals focused on their practice and were able to execute the moves their new German coach, Michael Weiss, gave them.
Weiss said he considers the presence of the crowd more encouraging than disturbing.
“We’re happy to see these boys and girls watching the practice. Very encouraging...but of course some of kind of discipline needs to be observed,” Weiss said.
Moving away from Manila, he said, is very good for the team since they were able to save time and experience less stress from driving for more than an hour to and back from where they practice.
“Here in Bacolod, we get to the venue in less than 15 minutes. This is better, much better,” Weiss, who also had his share of football fans asking for his autograph and having their pictures taken with him, added.
The Azkals’ coach also confirmed two friendly games for the team against a selection of players on Monday and Thursday next week.
He said they will probably play the Monday game at the UNO-R pitch and the Thursday match-up at the Panaad Stadium.
Being with the Azkals for only two weeks, Weiss said he finds the players to be very disciplined.
While they still have to develop further their game, he said they have enough time to prepare for the game against Mongolia and he is looking forward to having the Fil-foreigner players joining the team soon.
“We will beat Mongolia. That is a sure thing,” Weiss said.*NAB
THE Philippine Azkals will no longer be having a 10-day training camp here in Cebu City in preparation for the 2nd leg of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Qualifiers in March in Mongolia, according to Richard Montayre, president of the Cebu Football Association (CFA).
This was confirmed by Azkals team manager Dan Palami, who met with Montayre yesterday in Bacolod.
“We were informed that the temperature in Mongolia right now is -17 degrees Celsius so we need a training camp that is in high altitude and would simulate that kind of climate,” Palami said.
The team strongly considered holding a 10-day training camp here in preparation for their match in Mongolia and plans would have been finalized once Palami gets to inspect the pitch and accommodation for the national football team.
Palami would have done the inspection this weekend when he comes to Cebu for the first Board of Governors meeting of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) for the year and since Mariano “Nono” Araneta took over the reins of the country's football governing body.
Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss had decided that the team must acclimatized to the Mongolian climate and therefore must train in a place that would have the closes approximate climate as that of Mongolia.
Instead, the Azkals will spend about 10 days in Baguio.
Cebuano fans of the Azkals need not despair as the team would still be visiting Cebu after their stint in Mongolia.
Palami said he committed to Montayre that the Azkals would have its training camp here in preparation for the 2014 World Cup qualifier in June. /CORRESPONDENT
As part of their preparations for the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifying play-off match against Mongolia, the Philippine men’s football team, Azkals, will play two friendly games in Bacolod City.
Although they have yet to finalize everything, team manager Dan Palami said the Azkals are scheduled to play against the Korean-reinforced Central Philippine University squad this weekend and against the local selection when the team is complete.
Celebrated members midfielders James and Philip Younghusbands, Jason de Jong, keeper Neil Etheridge, defenders Robert Gier and Aly Borromeo were not with the team when the group arrived in Bacolod, Wednesday.
Palami said the team is focused on playing their best on February 9 and they are looking forward to having a good training camp in Bacolod City.
“What we want to do is to play and focus on executing accurate passes and good transition from offense to defense,” Palami said, adding that the team needs to play consistently irregardless of whom they are playing against.
The presence of the Fil-foreigners in the team, he said, was a product of a continuous recruitment of players who will strengthen the team.
With the popularity football has been getting lately, he said players have come forward to tryout for the national team.
The victory against Vietnam in the elimination round and its entry in the semifinals against Indonesia during the AFF Suzuki Cup last year proved to be the turning point for the Azkals.
“When we returned from Vietnam, everybody was eager to see the Azkals,” Palami said during the press conference yesterday at the Luxor Hotel.
The players, he said has come to love their name, Azkals, attributing it to the lowly local stray dog’s character of fighting back when intimidated but rising to its potential when taken cared of.
“What we have back in 2006 was a losing Azkal. After Vietnam, there was some sort of transformation and we decided to keep the name and elevate the status of the Azkals,” Palami said.
Kuala Lumpur: AFC has extended the deadline for entry confirmation and interest to host the AFC U-16 Championship 2012 Qualifiers to 31 January 2011.
In a letter dated 26 January 2011 to member associations Bhutan, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Turkmenistan, AFC informs that it did not receive replies on the above matters by the previous deadline of 24 January 2011.
AFC advises that if it does not receive the member associations’ replies by the extended deadline, it considers them as not taking part in the said competition.
NEGROS Occidental High School (NOHS) Principal Mario Amaca yesterday confirmed that the national office of the Department of Education has already given go signal for the transfer of the floodlights from Paglaum Sports Complex to Panaad Stadium, as part of the upgrading of Panaad's lighting system for the upcoming AFC-Challenge Cup scheduled February 9, 2011.
Amaca said that, after he received the order from DepEd-Negros Occidental Supt. Rizalino Tortosa to oversee the undertaking, he immediately communicated with the Dynamic Builders & Construction Company for the transfer of the lighting equipment.
"We will have this transfer recorded as compliance with the existing rules and regulations on the transfer of government properties," Amaca explained.
In the communication sent to Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ricardo Garcia, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro stated that DepEd has no objection to the PSC's request for the transfer of all Paglaum's available floodlights, including its accessories, to Panaad Stadium, provided that the existing rules and regulations for the transfer of property are strictly followed.
Meanwhile, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Monico Puentevella reiterated that PLDT and SMART Communication chairman Manny Pangilinan has signified his intention to assist the province for the possible expansion of the Panaad Stadium in preparation for future international football competitions.
Puentevella said that Pangilinan will talk to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and will see what his companies can do, particularly in expanding the stadium's existing structure which can accommodate 20,000 spectators. (Jerome S. Galunan Jr.)
MANILA, Philippines – With barely 2 weeks left before the much awaited game between the Philippine Azkals and Mongolia, organizers have yet to finish preparing the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City which will host the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifier.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Monico Puentevella said they have yet to complete the installation of additional lights in Panaad as requested by the AFC for live television coverage of the night games.
The additional lighting will come from the nearby Paglaum Sports Complex, which is also located in Bacolod City.
He, however, said that organizers were being given a hard time in transferring the lights.
“Sa approval ng pag-gamit ng lights, sana huwag na kaming pahirapan,” said an irritated Puentevella.
He said they were already granted permission by the Department of Education (DepEd), which manages the Paglaum Sports complex.
Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami hopes the problem will be solved soon.
“It’s sad for the team, you know, these things like lights and preparation of the pitch will not be ready come game time because at the end of the day it will be Bacolod who will be affected, I think,” he said.
The Azkals will face a younger Mongolia squad on February 9 for a home-and-away qualifying series for the AFC Challenge Cup.
Azkals continue training
The Azkals, meanwhile, continue their training in secret venues to keep away from the fans.
Palami said that their preparations are sometimes hampered by die-hard Azkals fans.
“As long as they maintain the distance from the players, where it becomes obtrusive, then we will have no problem with that because some fans will go to the pitch,” he said.
Local players also had to adjust with their new teammates, mostly Filipino-Europeans, because of their thick English accents.
Ilonggo booter Reymak Palmes said that sometimes, they resort to sign language.
“Dinadala na lang namin sa sign language kung minsan. Ang mas importante, mabuild up ang team at mapabuti pa ang komunikasyon sa isa't isa,” he said. -- With a report from Ragie Arellano, ABS-CBN News Iloilo
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine football’s steps toward respectability will suffer a huge setback should the national football team known as the Azkals lose to Mongolia in their AFC Cup qualifier on February 9 in Bacolod, Dan Palami, the team manager said.
Palami, the guiding force behind football’s remarkable renaissance in the country as its low-key godfather, said it would be shocking to even contemplate a loss at this juncture of football’s buildup.
“I cannot imagine a loss to Mongolia,” he said. “That would almost be disastrous.”
But Palami said only a totally miserable performance by the Azkals would result in a defeat although the Mongolians, like the Filipinos, are also trying to build their game and their confidence and are aiming for an upset victory.
Palami has so much confidence on his boys, now playing under a new coach, that he has decided not to bring three new players from Europe who he has tapped to reinforce the team for the more difficult days ahead.
“We don’t need them at this point,” he said. “We can handle the Mongolians.”
A second match is scheduled in Mongolia in the home and away encounter where the winner will join Myanmar, Palestine and Bangladesh in the AFC Cup later this year.
The more pressing problem for the Philippine Football Federation is the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, site of the match, which is way behind in the preparations for the match. He said the lights have not yet been installed, though organizers, who were given P6 million by the Philippine Sports Commission to help them set up the stadium and provide logistics for the team, are confident they will be up on game day.
Among those expected to attend is President Noynoy Aquino whose presence would be another testament to the growing stature of football as a sport that Filipinos can excel in if given the right support.
Proof that many Filipinos have embraced the game is that tickets for the match have all been sold out on line when they came up for sale.
Television has also joined the scramble for a piece of the football pie.
After weighing the offers on the table, the PFF chose ABS-CBN to be exclusive broadcaster of the Mongolia series, both here and abroad.
The network giant reportedly offered the best package, promising to broadcast the Bacolod and Mongolia games live on local TV and on its popular Filipino channel abroad.
By Cedelf P. Tupas, Christian V. Esguerra Philippine Daily Inquirer
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines—Just hours after appearing in a Senate inquiry in Manila, the national football team touched down here Wednesday night to begin the final stretch of preparations for the game against Mongolia in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series.
Among those who joined the first wave of arrivals were seven players who were not included in the provisional 31-man lineup but impressed new coach Hans Michael Weiss during tryouts.
With Weiss still waiting for the arrival of several players based abroad, Filipino-Scottish Mark McMahon, keeper Paolo Pascual, winger Aaron Altiche, striker Yannick Tuazon, Italy-raised Albert Frias and former national players Roxy Dorlas and Ricardo Becite were included in the training pool for the February 9 match.
Majority of the players who arrived here where in a Senate hearing in Manila, where it was revealed that members of the squad, known as the Azkals, have been receiving only P4,000 to P6,000 a month for national duties.
“We just hope that the players themselves are the ones taken care of first because we are the ones who put in all the hard work,” said skipper Aly Borromeo, who did not join the flight on Wednesday night.
“Some of us can’t even attend the camp as well as the other players because we have to attend to our jobs,” added Borromeo, who is set to arrive here in the weekend, along with brothers Phil and James Younghusband.
Four players in the Azkals’ starting lineup—Neil Etheridge, Jason de Jong, Rob Gier and Ray Jonnson—are expected on February 6.
Also new player 18 y.o filipino-egyptian from USA, Islam Ahmid is joining the team for Bacolod.
SILAY CITY - The Philippine Azkals, along with the coaching crew led by German coach Hans Michael Weiss, team manager Dan Palami and Philippine Olympic Committee chairman Monico Puentevella, finally landed Wednesday night at the New Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City for the team's early preparation for the upcoming AFC-Challenge Cup on February 9, 2011 at the Panaad Stadium in Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
Silay City Vice-Mayor Mark Golez, who led the warm welcomed for the Azkals, said that while the city has yet to establish a grassroots program for football, the arrival of the national team in Silay City will surely hasten the realization of the football program.
From the airport, the Azkals also attended the welcome dinner by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. at Bar 21.
In an interview at the airport, Palami, who has been working with the team for 13 months, assured the Filipino fans of a good show from the Azkals.
"I think that with the preparations I've seen in Manila and the time we will have in Bacolod, I think we will make an exciting game and we will make sure that we will make the Filipinos proud of their Azkals," Palami said.
Despite the delayed arrival of several Fil-foreign players like James and Philip Younghusband, Niel Etheridge, Rob Gier, Ray Johnson and Jason de de Jong, Palami stressed that most of them, including the new recruits, are on the way to Bacolod aboard the last flight for the day to join the team.
While the Younghusbands and defender Aly Borromeo are reportedly set to arrive this weekend, Palami disclosed that the other Fil-foreign booters will be coming over either on February 4 or 5.
"As they are coming on February 4 or 5, they have four days to blend with the team but since they have been playing with the team for some time, it's easier for them to adjust. I just hope they won't suffer jet lag when they come over," Palami said.
However, Palami was confident that these Fil-foreign players will not be affected by jet lag because they have experienced jet lag before it's not hard for them to adjust.
On the other hand, Azkals goalkeeper Eduard Sacapano, one of the two Negrense players in the team, said that since they have worked only for a week with their new coach, lots of adjustments are needed.
"That's the reason why we come early in Bacolod. It is to settle the needed adjustments in the game plan," Sacapano stressed.
Sacapano, along with Reymark Palmes, are both natives of Bago City.
Aside from these Negrense standouts, other Ilonggo players joining the pack are Ian Araneta,Yanti Bersales, Mark Ferrer, Chip Caligdong, Noel Gener, Joven Bermejo and Nestor Magarce.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 27, 2011.
THE promotion of football in the summer capital gets another boost as the 2011 edition of Pine Cup is now in the drawing boards.
Tentatively slated from April 14 to 17, eight age group divisions are being planned in the three day, 11 a side tournament being spearheaded by the Baguio United Football Club.
Some 35 teams are expected to see action in the tournament with teams composed of boys 21 and under, boys 17 and under, boys and girls 14 and under, boys 11 and under, mixed 9 and under, and mixed 7 and under.
Also in the competition will be teams from the men's and ladies' open division.
Last year, the tournament also saw a two-day football clinic in the hopes of popularizing the sports and train would be football players in this part of the country.
Teams from as far as Tarlac, Uminggan, Pangasinan State U, Laguna, Manaoag, and Agoo suited up last year for the men's open division and boys 21 under category.
This year, more teams are expected to join the tournament as it hopes to bring in more competitive level of football not only in the city but all over the country as well.
Interested teams who wish to join the tournament may send an e-mail to baguio firstname.lastname@example.org for invitation packet. (Roderick Osis)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 27, 2011.
THE much-awaited arrival of the most celebrated team in the country Wednesday is set to land at Bacolod-Silay Airport at 6 p.m.
The Philippine Football Team-Azkals led by their German coach Hans Michael Weiss and team manager Dan Palami along with Ilonggo standouts Ian Araneta,Yanti Bersales, Mark Ferrer, Chip Caligdong, Noel Gener, Joven Bermejo, Nestor Magarce and Eduard Sacapaño will compose the first batch, the PFF media relations said yesterday.
The Azkals’ early arrival is part of their venue familiarization and preparation for the upcoming February 9 AFC Challenge Cup qualifying series at the Panaad Stadium.
Meanwhile, key players like the Younghusbands, James and Phil, are most likely to arrive soon as well as goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, defenders Ray Jonnson and Rob Gier and midfielders Jason de Jong and Chris Greatwich, who are expected to arrive on February 5.
On the other hand, national coach Weiss, in a national paper, expressed confidence that he could whip the national squad into a solid attacking unit when the Azkals face Mongolia however allayed concerns that the team’s preparations will be affected by the arrival of several overseas-based players just a few days before the match.
A press conference, meanwhile, is also set after a welcome dinner for the team led by Gov. Alfredo Marañon will be held at Bar 21 Restaurant.
Negrenses and Bacoleños who are interested to buy tickets for the said games and have their reservations may contact Pauline Javelona of Negros Occidental Football Association Tuesday said that for those may contact 0922-8210466.
Bearers of these tickets will earn their sets at the main grand stand. (JSG)
PHILIPPINE Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta announced Monday that the Japan Football Association (JFA) is willing to support the PFF’s grassroots football program. Araneta said the Philippines was advised to follow the same pattern used by the Japanese a long time ago that allowed them to qualify in at least four World Cup events.
“We’re going to follow what the JFA did before. We will use their methodology in terms of grassroots program to help sustain the national team program,” said Araneta.
Araneta also confirmed officials from JFA will arrive on February to help the PFF lay down a blueprint of the program. Besides technical advise, the JFA will also donate football equipments.
For his part, new Azkals German mentor Hans Michael Weiss stressed the importance of developing a national football team, as well as the construction of football stadiums in the country, “How can you put a roof on top of the house if the foundation isn’t strong enough? We must have football venues and a competitive league which we can scout some players,” he said.
The celebrated Philippine national football team is arriving in Bacolod City tonight with new coach Michael Weiss and officials of the Philippine Football Federation.
Silay City Mayor Jose “Oti” Montelibano said the team is expected to arrive 6 p.m. at the Bacolod-Silay Airport and will proceed to Bacolod City for a welcome dinner to be hosted by Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.
Montelibano said they are also planning to host a welcome party for the Azkals but everything will depend on the schedule of the team.
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s bid to build a national football stadium that meets international standard got a boost after a private entity said it was willing to donate 4.5 hectares of land to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta declined to reveal the identity of the private group, but sources said the head of El Shaddai, Mike Velarde, had broached the idea of donating a parcel of land in Paranaque for the purpose.
Only the finer details are reportedly being ironed out such as if the place will also be used for religious purposes or whether it is exclusive for football.
It was earlier reported that FIFA, the international football federation, was willing to help the PFF build its own stadium if the place will be used exlusively for football for at least 20 years.
Araneta said if the donation of land will push through, it will fast track PFF’s plan to finally have “home” stadium that can host huge international events.
“Maybe in two months, after we meet with them (donors) and seal the deal, we can submit the (site) report to FIFA for approval,” Mariano said.
Araneta said FIFA is willing to give as much as $500,000 (about P21.5 million) to help realized PFF’s dream project.
The PFF had earlier eyed the Philsports Arena in Pasig City as the site for the project but it could not get the Philippine Sports Commission to commit the facility for the exlusive use of football.
Right now, the 15,500-seater Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City stands as the country’s lone venue fit to host international tournaments but on a Southeast Asian level only. Araneta said to host SEA level events, a football stadium must accommodate at least 15,000.
Last December, the Philippines lost its chance to host its “home” game against Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup semifinals after AFF officials believed that the Panaad Stadium is not fit for such an event.
The Panaad Stadium, which can accommodate as much as 18,000, served as a satellite venue for the 2005 SEA Games and the Palarong Pambansa
The Panaad Stadium will host the Azkals’ AFC Challenge Cup qualifier against a Mongolia on February 9.
The Azkals coach is keeping an eye on the Mongolians.
“For the moment, I know they’re training outside of Mongolia,” said Hans Michael Weiss of the team they will soon face in the AFC Challenge Cup in Bacolod City.
The Mongolians, Weiss learned, moved out of the capital of Ulan Bator mainly because the weather is too cold, freezing at minus 20 degrees.
“I was told they’re training in an artificial pitch,” said Weiss during the PSA Forum.
Weiss said he also received information that a couple of Mongolian players are injured, and that there are younger ones coming in for their Feb. 9 match with the Azkals at the Panaad Stadium.
“They are building up. So, maybe we will face a not so experienced team,” he said, adding that the Mongolians, considered as one of the weakest teams in football, will soon move to Guangzhou, China.
“I think they will stay there, train there for a week before coming over to Bacolod. I expect our opponents to be very serious. So we are also serious in preparing for this match,” said the 45-year-old mentor.
At the same time, he has an eye glued on the Azkals.
“I know everybody’s enthusiastic,” he said.
Part of his job is putting up the final lineup for the AFC Challenge. So far he has around 30 players under his wings, each one of them fit and ready to get the job done against the Mongolians.
But there are new faces coming in, new faces as far as he’s concerned, because on Feb. 6, a bunch of Azkals based overseas, including Neil Etheridge, Chris Greatwich, Jason de Jong, Rob Gier and Anton del Rosario, are coming in.
Then there’s a couple more who might make it if they get their passports done in time, European recruits Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Patrick Herget, John Hinrichsen, Oliver Potschke and Stephan Schrock.
“It would been better if we had group together by now. But it’s okay. I don’t worry. The players we have right now are fit, and they will try to transfer the ideas to those coming in. It’s going to be okay,” said Weiss.
“I still have to see the others. Then we will test them and observe.Then I can announce the final lineup one day before the match. The others will have to present themselves,” he said.
The Azkals will fly to Bacolod today to start training at the Panaad Stadium.
A possible expansion of the Panaad Stadium, in preparation for future international football competitions, is being considered after Manny Pangilinan, chairman of the PLDT and SMART Communications visited the site, Saturday.
Pangilinan said he will see what his companies can do to help expand the stadium with more seats to be added in the existing structure.
With Philippine Sports Commission chairman Ricardo “Richie” Garcia, Pangilinan visited the Stadium to check the venue for the Feb. 9 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup 2012 Qualifiers Play-off match between the Philippines and Mongolia.
As one of the benefactors of the Azkals, Pangilinan recently turned over a P1 million check to the team during a courtesy visit at the Smart Communications head office in Makati City.
The team presented to Pangilinan a football signed by the Azkals as a token of appreciation for the Smart-PLDT Chairman’s support for the group.
Pangilinan, who was in Bacolod City over the weekend for the Game One showdown between his Talk ‘n Text team and San Miguel Beer in their best-of-seven final series in the PBA, said he will come back next month for the Azkals vs. Mongolia game.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday assured those who are coming to Bacolod for the AFC Challenge Cup game that hotels rooms are still available for their accommodations.
The mayor said he talked to one of the hotel owners in the city and was told that their hotels are not yet fully booked, contrary to reports being circulated that all the hotels in Bacolod are full.
The reports, he said were premature and might not be very positive for us since it might discourage others from booking for a trip to Bacolod, Leonardia said.
“Bacolod is ready in terms of accommodation and security. We know it is another event for Bacolod and when there are big events like this one, we are on alert,” Leonardia added.*NAB/CGS
MANILA, Philippines — Dana Ramos, a first year University of the Philippines student, is a diehard Philippine Azkals fan.
So when she learned that the national team will be playing against Mongolia in an AFC Challenge Cup qualifier on Feb. 9 in Bacolod City, she skipped going to movie houses for nearly a month to save money for airline tickets.
“I will be absent from class for three days. But it’s okay. I will be with my friends to watch the game live,” Ramos, 17, said.
Ramos, who is set to arrive in Bacolod on February 8 and will stay in her classmates’ relatives there, is one of the thousands caught in the football mania that is sweeping the country.
Ramos, who spent around P3,000 for the two-way airfare, is actually lucky to have booked a flight early because reports have it that its already difficult to land a flight close to Feb. 9.
She’s also lucky to have a house to stay in because reports have it that hotels near the Panaad Stadium, the venue of the match, are fully booked.
A quick random check in the hotels and Inns around Bacolod confirmed the reports.
“It’s very unusual to have guests as many as these. And most of our guests will be coming in from Manila to watch the (Azkals’) game,” said Sansan Lacson, a desk officer from Check Inn Pension Arcade, which stands beside the Bacolod City Hall in Luzuriaga Street.
Offering one of the cheapest rooms at P500 per night, Check Inn, about a 30-minute drive from the Stadium, has all its 91 rooms reserved within the week of competition.
MANILA, Philippines — Although the Philippine Azkals rank way above Mongolia in the international rankings, German coach Michael Weiss said they are not discounting the Mongolians when they clash in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifier on February 9 in Bacolod City.
The Azkals boast of a No. 153 FIFA rankings compared to Mongolia’s 182, but Weiss remains wary of the Mongolians, who according to scouting reports, are planning to train in Guangzhou, China to acclimatize for one week before coming to Bacolod.
“There seems to be a transition in their team. We heard that some players are young and less experienced, while others are injured,” said Weiss at the PSA Forum in Shakey’s UN Avenue.
Weiss, who succeeded British coach Simon McMenemy is not underestimating their rival, adding they could also pull an upset the same way the Filipinos did against the heavily-favored Vietnamese at the AFF Suzuki Cup last December.
Weiss expects Fil-foreign players that include Neil Etheridge, Chris Greatwitch, Jason de Jong and Rob Gier to arrive on February 6.
“It would be better if we have the group complete on an earlier time. Still, I’m trying to squeeze out the best of the team as much as I can,” said Weiss, who has helped in developing the football system in Rwanda before joining the Azkals.
“But with the mix of cultures and the way they are responding as far as training, conditioning and technical aspects are concerned, there is a good possibility of developing a well-balanced team,” he said.
Skipper Ali Borromeo, meanwhile, said the transition to a new coach has brought a new dimension to squad.
“He knows the potential of the team and gives a variety of techniques in our conditioning. We’ve been working and stepping up on our attacking style of approach, while trying to put pressure on our opponent to commit more mistakes,” Borromeo said.
“On paper, we look really strong. Everyone’s in good spirits, but we haven’t been really tested. We’ll see against Mongolia,” he added.
The second tie will be held on March 15 in Mongolia.
THE long wait is over for the Negrense football fans to see the Philippine Football team-Azkals in Negros Occidental soil as they are scheduled to arrive tomorrow afternoon, January 26. This was confirmed yesterday by Philippine Football Federation - Local Organizing Committee Chairman Red Avelino.
Avelino told Sun.Star-Bacolod that the team is tentatively scheduled to meet Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. at the Provincial Capitol upon their arrival and will also hold a press conference thereafter.
The PFF official, however, has yet to disclose Azkals' itinerary for the next following days. "I still have to check the schedules of the team," he said.
Meanwhile, PFF President Mariano Araneta earlier stressed that PFF intends to follow Japan's successful grassroots development program to sustain and improve the country's stature following the remarkable performance of the Azkals.
Araneta further said that they should set the right foundation to ensure a brighter future for the sport and using the method of the Japanese could be a step to the right direction.
THE Cebu Football Association, led by president Richard Montayre, travelled all the way to the Northern town last Friday to held a coaches’ and referees’ seminar to help Catmon form its own football club.
Fifteen coaches and three referees joined the two-day seminar.
"They were very enthusiastic and since most of them will be starting from zero, they even wanted us to go back there three times a month to check on how they are doing,” Montayre said.
Tickets have been sold out even before they are printed.
“There’s a huge demand for tickets,” said Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta, referring to the Azkals highly-anticipated match with the Mongolians in Bacolod City.
Araneta must feel like a lotto winner that suddenly he’s been getting a lot of calls from fellow sports officials, relatives, friends and even the friends of his friends regarding tickets for the Feb. 9 match.
“I’ve started turning off my cellular phone,” he said yesterday.
The Panaad Stadium, based on history, can seat only 15,000 fans, but the PFF president said there’s more than that. In fact, he said they’re printing 16,000 tickets starting next week.
And yet, Araneta said they’re all sold out.
“We have 4,000 tickets at P300 each and they’re sold out. Then we have another 2,000 tickets reserved for VIPs and another 10,000 which will be for free – first-come, first-served,” said Araneta.
“Wala na (None left).”
From the town of Barotac alone in Iloilo, the country’s football capital which is just a two-hour ferry ride from Bacolod, Araneta said they expect a deluge of fans for the lone match against Mongolia.
“I’m from Barotac, and they’ve been calling me. And we haven’t even printed the tickets,” he said.
Even the President is coming, unless there’s a sudden change in his schedule.
Assistant team captain Chieffy Caligdong, who’s from Barotac, said if only the Panaad Stadium can house a hundred thousand fans, there’d be no problem filling up the place.
“Buong Barotac manonood (The entire town will watch). Balak ko nga din dalhin ang mga aso’t pusa ko (I plan to bring my pets along),” he said, eliciting laughter from the floor.
It’s not only tickets to the match that have been sold out, but plane tickets to-and-from Bacolod on the eve of the match, the day of the match and the day after.
Hotels in Bacolod have also reported full bookings for the AFC Challenge Cup. It’s like the Masskara Festival, Bacolod’s most popular event, being held in February.
“I can’t wait for this match,” said Azkals star Phil Younghusband.
Everybody’s looking forward to it. With or without a ticket.
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and ABS-CBN have signed a partnership that will allow the broadcast firm to air the national football team’s games against Mongolia and in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup should the Azkals advance.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta and the giant TV network announced their formal partnership on Monday beginning with the Azkals match against Mongolia on Feb. 9 at the Panaad stadium in Bacolod City.
“We want to thank ABS-CBN because I think with this partnership, we can now compete with the country’s No. 1 sport, which is basketball,” Araneta said in a press briefing at the ABS-CBN compound.
But Araneta qualified that this will only happen if the Azkals’ success continues.
“We are off to a good start and this (partnership with PFF) would be the breakthrough Philippine football could enjoy for years to come,” said Peter Musngi, ABS-CBN vice president for Sports, who was present during the contract signing alongside Azkals team manager Dan Palami and new coach German Michael Weiss and members of the Azkals.
A YOUNGER group of players will join experienced booters, who helped carry the Philippine football team known as the Azkals to the semifinals of the 2010 AFF-Suzuki Cup football championships last year.
New coach Hans Michael Weiss said he is carefully making his choices from a list of aspirants, who passed the three-day tryouts last week, plus a roster of Fil-foreign professional soccer aspirants, who have yet to arrive in Manila.
“There are many players to choose from. It is difficult because I have to first erase the players, who will not play a role, and find the players who have actually done business before,” said Weiss, a German mentor, who used to handle Rwanda’s national team before he came to Manila.
Weiss, who replaced British coach Simon McMenemy, was present during a Friday evening a sendoff dinner and ceremony Suzuki Philippines tendered for the Philippine Azkals at the Palawan Room of the Shangri-La EDSA Hotel in Mandaluyong City. The sendoff rites were attended by Suzuki Philippines executives, led by its president Satoshi Uchida.
Weiss received one of eight Nike T90 Ascente match balls on behalf of the team. The ball was among those used during the Azkals’ games in Vietnam and Indonesia in the Suzuki Cup.
Thirty-one players made the cut to the national pool after a three-day tryout was held last week at the University of Makati.
A group of 25 will be chosen one week before the Azkals face Mongolia in their first home-and-away encounter on Feb. 8 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Among those who made the cut were Phil and James Younghusband, along with mainstays Edward Sacapano, Kristopher Relucio, Rey Mark Palmes, Nestorio Margarse, Chris and Simon Greatwich, Roel Gener and Mark Anthony Ferrer.
Goalie Neil Etheridge was also included along with Anton del Rosario, Jason de Jong, Christopher Camcam, Chieffy Caligdong, skipper Aly Borromeo, Joebel Bermejo, Yanti Barsales, Jerry Barbaso, Peter Jaugan, Rob Gier and Ian Araneta.
Among the newcomers is a comebacking Fil-German Mark Drinkuth, who brought with him the Tagalog-speaking William Espinosa-Guiridon, Patrick Herget, Oliver Poltschke and John Patrick Hinrichsen. Jerry Lucena has yet to arrive in Manila with Stephan Schroeck and Jason Sabio.
“We want to encourage them. This is good because we are focusing on our company’s theme, which is ‘Astig Suzuki.’ And the Azkals is such an ‘astig’ team,” said Uchida in his inspirational message. Peter Atencio
By Barry Cyrus R. Viloria, abs-cbnNEWS.com Posted at 01/24/2011 7:34 PM | Updated as of 01/24/2011 9:14 PM
MANILA, Philippines – Aggressive and offense-oriented. This is the game plan of the new coach of the Philippine football team Azkals as his team clashes against Mongolia in the Asian Football Federation (AFC) Challenge Cup in February.
"We'll push up the line a little bit more," Hans Michael Weiss told the media after the contract-signing between ABS-CBN Sports and Philippine Football Federation Monday at the ELJ Communications Center at the ABS-CBN Compound in Quezon City.
"We'll be closer to the goal," Weiss added.
Weiss, who has previously managed teams in China, Japan, and Rwanda, arrived in the country last week to lead the team's training and conditioning routine.
He said the team must try a "different approach" to come strong against their Mongolian foes.
"We should not underestimate Mongolia too much," he said.
The Azkals, who rose to stardom overnight after defeating Vietnam - the AFF champion during the last season, lost to Indonesia, 0-2 in the semifinals last December.
In the dying minutes of the concluding Philippines-Indonesia game, the Azkals was reduced to 10 men, a player short of 11 per side. They also had three players getting yellow cards, or warning, for fouls.
After the Azkals' loss, Indonesia, on the other hand, thumped Malaysia to bag the crown.
New coach, new players
A new batch of half-Filipinos are expected to buttress the team and will arrive in the country next week. But they will not yet be allowed to play in the February games, coming fresh into the team.
In an interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, Weiss revealed he is confident with his lineup of "quality players."
"They're good prospects. They are players who grew up in a very different environment... that's very important," he said.
Weiss said everyone in his team has had his own unique experience in football. He said each style and knowledge acquired about the game will enrich the team as its players gear up for the AFC Cup.
"For me, there's no Filipino or foreign players. There are just players who have had different training," he said.
Meanwhile, the Azkals said they are looking forward to playing under the leadership of a new coach.
"It's great. [He] has a different aspect," the team's captain, Aly Borromeo, said. "I believe we'll have a solid team [against] the Mongolian team."
Phil Younghusband, one of the team's most popular players along with brother James, said he is relying a lot on Weiss. "Coach promises we'll be fit for the game," he said.
"He knows what he's talking about, he has experience. We're looking forward to playing the game," he added.
On Simon McMenemy
Weiss replaced Simon McMenemy, the Azkals' mentor during their competition in the AFF Cup, just this January.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami had said McMenemy's coaching permit, issued by the Union of European Football Associations, expired December 31. He said this technically allowed them to scout for a new coach for the team.
However, the transition wasn't easily accepted by McMenemy, who said on his Twitter account that he felt "disrespected" with the team management's lack of effort to communicate the decision directly to him.
Weiss told abs-cbnNEWS.com he believes the issue needs to die down for everyone's sake.
"Forget about the past, football is a growing sport," he said.
Nevertheless, Weiss said McMenemy can still pour out his support for the team in the upcoming match in Bacolod.
"He's welcome to watch," Weiss said of the Azkals' former coach.
But Younghusband said he doubted it if McMenemy would indeed watch the games at the Panaad Stadium, the venue of the event, since McMenemy is now in England.
Amid their split, the team acknowledged McMenemy's contribution to the team.
PLDT and Smart Telecommunications' Manuel V. Pangilinan led several basketball honchos in visiting the AFC Challenge Cup's venue, the Panaad Sports Stadium, over the weekend.
Pangilinan, who was joined by Ricky Vargas, Pato Gregorio and Metro Pacific's Ramon Fernandez, had his time taking a look at the sports facilities and confirming attendance in the much awaited football match between Philippine Football team Azkals and Mongolia next month, February 9.
He likewise promised to help finance the upcoming game including the sponsorship of the National Inter City Club Cup to be held nationwide in the coming months. Furthermore, Pangilinan also offered ABC Channel 5 for live coverage of the international football matches in the future.
Meanwhile, PBA Commissioner Chito Salud along with Willie Marcial and Negros Basketball Association president Oscar Bascon also had a surprise visit at Panaad last Friday during trying out of the lighting system led by POC Chairman and former Bacolod City Representative Monico Puentevella.
The POC official further stressed that even though Panaad lightings have passed PFF requirements but has to put up additional lights to support the existing facilities.
Puentevella also disclosed that the Asian Football Federation in Jakarta has offered Panaad two months to host the next Suzuki Cup in 2012, as long as the requirements for bigger space for the spectators, lighting system for broadcast satellite, and security measures are in place.
Meanwhile, PFF President Mariano Araneta has expressed his appreciation to the football aficionados who have expressed their support for the Azkals. Iloilo and Cebu football fanatics are expected to join the crowd in Bacolod during the game.
Graeme Mckinnon, who gave Cebu a name in local football several years ago and who is now residing in Australia has saved all his money and again be the cheerleader as what he did during the 2005 SEA Games.
Pauline Javelona of Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) yesterday said that for those Negrenses and Bacoleños who are interested to buy tickets for the said games and have their reservations may contact 0922-8210466. Bearers of these tickets will earn their sets at the main grand stand.
Meanwhile, Araneta has been wary that even the 10,000 free admission tickets in the bleachers may not be enough to cover the overwhelming crowd experienced in 2005, especially with the thousands coming from Manila, Cebu, Dumaguete, Panay, and many parts of Mindanao. (Jerome S. Galunan Jr.)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 24, 2011.
GERMAN Philippine men’s football team head coach Hans Michael Weiss said he will put strict policy on Azkals’ training at the University of Makati to avoid distractions. Weiss, a 43-year-old former Rwanda national team mentor, told The Manila Times that discipline is very important in forming a strong team and he wants to implement it firmly starting this week.
“It’s time to get rid of people who prioritized other business not related to the team,” said Weiss. “Right now, I already know where I’m dealing with. It was not so easy dealing with them first but now it’s easy for me. The players are very cooperative,” he added.
He also mentioned that the influx of local and Filipino-foreign players from different nations makes it too difficult for him too select the players who will be in the final 25 since most players are very well talented and promising.
At the same time, Weiss said he is waiting for the arrival of 6’3” goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and other players who are still in their respective countries.
“I’m also hoping that we could top the Group Stage after we qualify. We really need to work hard,” said Weiss.
Weiss, a part of the German Football Association’s assistance to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), said he conducted tryouts for the national team that will compete in the 26th Southeast Asian Games in November in Jakarta, Indonesia.
For the upcoming 2011 first leg qualifying stage of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup on February 9 at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City, the PFF has already submitted a 31-man roster to the AFC.
The Azkals will battle the Mongolians in the first leg then will fly to Mongolia in Ulan Bator on March 15 for the second leg of the qualifying stage.
Filipino-Germans Stephan Schrock, Jan Patrick Hinrichsen and Oliver Potschke and Filipino-Danish Jerry Lucena are still awaiting their Philippine passports. If they fail to get their passport on time, they will not suit up against Mongolia.
Other members besides the 11-man core are Germany-based Patrick Herget and William Espinosa, who are now practicing with the squad and United States-based Jason Sabio.
WHEN the Philippine Football Federation announced the final date and venue for the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup game against Mongolia, it got deluged with ticket inquiries.
When the PFF announced the details on how to secure tickets, the torrent became a flood, and not a few fans, disappointed by a lack of response from the PFF for their inquiries, are venting their frustrations, online.
Relax, folks. There’s no need to panic.
And, for the first time as a sports writer I’m going to say this, give the PFF a break.
The guys there know their job, and, having spent three years under you-know-who, they know what it feels like to be frustrated by the lack of response from the PFF.
So, have a little patience.
They know the Feb. 9 game is not just for the Azkals, it’s the chance for Philippine football and the fans, that’s why I’m pretty sure they are going to work hard to make sure that every one of those who sent in ticket requests, will get them.
Why the delay, though? You have to understand, all ticket reservations are done online and according to Ernest Nierras, the PFF e-mail is filled to capacity.
As an experiment, I timed myself answering hypothetical reservations. On average, it took me 71 seconds to read a ticket request, reply with a standard, “Good day, your request for two tickets have been approved, please check instructions for payment details,” plus “copy-paste” a four-line instruction.
For 1,000 e-mails, that’s 71,000 seconds. Do you know how long that is?
Nineteen hours, 42 minutes plus change. That is if all you do is answer reservation inquiries non-stop. And since all reservations are addressed to one e-mail, only one person can do this job, at a time.
That’s just for 1,000 e-mails.
Based on experience, I think this admin is trying to answer all inquiries. Just a few days back, I got an e-mail from the PFF at five minutes to midnight! That means it’s either they are burning the midnight oil in the House of Football or are taking their office, at home.
And answering e-mails isn’t the only job of the PFF staff. I reckon taking care of the logistics for the Feb. 9 is just as daunting.
Now, what to do if you’ve already booked your airline tickets and hotel in Bacolod but still haven’t received word on your reservations?
Fret not, you still have 10,000 chances in the grandstand. Go to Panaad and since it’s not just a stadium, it’s also a park., spending a few hours there won’t be a bore.
It’s not time to panic yet, this PFF got our backs.
PNOY IN THE AUDIENCE. I was one of those who was rooting for P-Noy to watch the Azkals game but after reading about the experience of some Cebuanos when P-Noy watched the Sinulog, I’m starting to have doubts.
The PSG, as a rule, are paranoid. While I will probably ogle if Maria Sharapova runs naked, they’d see it as a diversion for an imminent attack.
But for the Feb. 9 game, I hope they dial down their paranoia a bit. Yes, pens, spoons and forks could be a threat, but certainly not in the hands of a feeble reporter, right?
The Orange Juice of Davao City ruled the first Digos Mayor’s Cup 8 A-Side Football Festival held last weekend in Digos City.
Orange Juice blanked Digos Seniors, 2-0 to win the title in the single-round robin event participated in by seven teams coming from Davao, Malalag and Digos.
The Juicers were powered by veteran Herson Salmon, Buboy Arrieta, Pablo Garcia, Efren Alvaran, Jerry Altivo, Nonoy Garfin, Dax Ang, Walter Ravanes, Danny Adolfo, Praveen Relton and Jilson George Pulickal.
Salmon and Garcia were also awarded as the Best Defender and Best Striker, respectively.
The Digos Football Club headed by Jay Miguel hosted the event aimed to promote football with the support of the city government. Lito Delos Reyes
MANILA, Philippines – The Panaad Sports Complex is about 70 percent ready to host the Feb. 9 AFC Challenge Cup qualifier between the Philippine Azkals and Mongolia, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Monico Puentevella said Saturday.
“The seating is already done and the field is ready and only the lighting needs to be improved,” said Puentevella from Bacolod City.
Puentevella, who has an advisory role in the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), said more lights are going to be installed in the coming days and these will come from the Paglaum Sports Complex, another venue that hosts football matches in the past.
“Panaad is now playable but we are making sure that there would be more lights as per an advisory from the Asian Football Confederation,” said Puentevella, who was joined during an inspection of the venue by sportsman-businessman Manny V. Pangilinan, PBA commissioner Chito Salud and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia as they are all there for the start of the PBA Finals.
Puentevella said the issue of security will be tops on his list once the Azkals get there on Wednesday.
“Security is a main concern but we have taken care of that,” added Puentevella. PFF officials are not sure whether the Philippines and Mongolia have played against each other even in a friendly match in the past.
CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Amateur Football Club (CAFC) through its president Glenn T. Quisido is inviting all teams or clubs to join the 11th National Inter-Club Football Club scheduled to be held from May 21 to 29 at three different venues - University of San Carlos-Technological Center in Brgy. Talamban, San Roque Parish field in Brgy. Subangdaku, Mandaue City and PAREF-Springdale in Brgy. Lahug.
We are inviting different football clubs/teams all over the country to showcase their skills and talents. This annual event is considered as one of the biggest soccer tournaments outside of Manila," relayed Quisido via e-mail sent to different media outlets.
The week-long competition features the men's open division, 40-above, boys/girls 17, boys 14 and boys 12 following the 11-aside format. There will also be a players 10 category, mix boys and girls for a 9-aside system of play.
For out-of-towners, Quisido said CAFC will provide free accommodation and internal transportation upon confirmation of their entries.
Each team shall be composed of 25 players, two officials and one officiating official for all categories except the players 10 which shall have a maximum of 18 players only with two officials and one officiating official.
Exciting cash prizes are up for grabs, with the champion in the men's open taking home P30,000 plus medals and trophy.
The top performer in the 40-above will pocket P10,000, medals and trophies will be given away to all age-group category winners.
To take up important matters and other concerns relative to the tournament, CAFC is calling for a coaches meeting on April 16 at Jollibee-Raintree Mall outlet.
Registration fee is pegged at P5,000 for the men's open and 40-above, while age-group entries will be assessed with P1,000 per team.
For further information, interested parties may keep in touch with Greg at 0923-7113100, Francis at 0923-4541353 and Ktek at 09223122208/09277532555. They may also e-mail CAFC at email@example.com of firstname.lastname@example.org. —with Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (FREEMAN)
AZKALS’ team captain Aly Borromeo made a fearless forecast on the possible outcome of the much-awaited Philippines vs. Mongolia match in the first leg of the two-game qualifying series of 2011 Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup in Panaad Stadium, Bacolod City, February 9. “It’s going to be 3-0 in favor of the Azkals,” said the 27-year-old Borromeo, also the team’s versatile centerback. Borromeo told The Manila Times on Friday that the Azkals’ intense focus is to win the game, not by a single goal only but by as many as three.
“I’m very confident we can win it but hopefully by more than three goals in order to give us the advantage when we play in Mongolia in the second leg. The climate there is cold so we really need to gain as much advantage as we can in the first leg,” he explained.
If ranking would be the sole basis, Borromeo said that the Filipinos have the edge to win against Mongolia. The Fédération Internationale De Football Association ranked the Philippines 150th and Mongolia 183rd.
“We have to proved that we’re better against them [Mongolians]. I’m so really excited to play in front of my fellow Filipinos. It is a great pleasure,” said Borromeo.
Borromeo praised Azkals new mentor Hans Michael Weiss who replaced British Simon McMenemy. The latter was replaced for the lack of A-License, a requirement in any AFC tournaments. “We are focusing more on conditioning and defense. He [Weiss] is absolutely a good coach and we’re very much excited,” Borromeo said.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami and Philippine Football Federation President Mariano Araneta also have positive assessments of the German coach, “He’s quite good,” said Palami. “He knows what the team exactly needs,” said Araneta.
AROUND 210 teams have signed up for the 8th Thirsty Football Cup, a 7-a-side football festival to be held at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), from Feb. 4 to 6.
Neil Montesclaros, one of the organizers, said he cannot confirm how many teams of the 210 are coming from out of town.
Since its first undertaking in 2004, the Thirsty Cup has always gathered the most number of teams from out of town.
The tournament will have 14 divisions namely players 6, players 8, players 10, boys 12, girls 12, boys 14, boys 17, girls 17, boys 19, girls 19, ladies, men, 36 above and 42 above.
All divisions will follow the 7-a-side format with 15 minutes per match expect for the players 6, 8 and 10 which will follow the 5-a-side format with 12 minutes to play per game. All teams in each division will be divided into brackets.
For divisions which have one bracket only, eliminations will follow a single round robin with the top two teams contesting the division title. Divisions with more than one bracket will have a single round per bracket.
All participating teams are advised to be in the playing venue before the first game of the day even if their match is scheduled later in the day since organizers may adjust schedules as the need arises. /CORRESPONDENT MARS G. ALISON
If you are sending an email and it keep bouncing back, or rejected, that is because we've reached the limit in our inbox. We cannot process additional ticket request, since we still have pending emails to process. We will be sending out the ticket nos to the lucky 4000 who sent their reservations on time and according to the posted procedure. You may still avail of the 10000 Gen admission tickets, in Panaad on a first come first serve basis.
THE rising football superstar of Cebu, Paolo Pascual, showed positive signs of making it to the pool of players who will compose either the senior team or the Under-23 squad of the Philippine National Football team.
The official announcement of the final list will be released today but Azkals team manager Dan Palami already confirmed that the remaining 13 hopefuls are part of the training pool.
“The pool of players are already considered as part of the team,” Palami said.
The Azkals coaching staff required the players to go through a series of practice games and trainings while waiting for the final list.
“Paolo is performing well. He is training with other goal keepers and he will train with the national team as well,” he added.
Only two goalkeepers will be sent to play for the upcoming match by the Philippine team against Mongolia and Neil Etheridge had already confirmed his presence.
They will announce today who the other keeper will be.
ABS-CBN will be the official broadcasting partner of the AFC Cup game in Bacolod this Feb. 9.
Meanwhile, while waiting for the final results of the tryout, Pascual received an offer to play with the Global FC.
Global FC is a team under the APC Global Incorporated, which actively participates in the premier football leagues in the Philippines such as the United Football League.
“He is young, trainable and has a good work ethic,” said Franco Lorenzo, team manager of Global FC. Lorenzo founded the team with Palami.
They first noticed Pascual when the Cebuano became part of their training pool, who played for the Under-19 Asian Qualifiers in China in 2009 when he was still 17.
Lorenzo said he admired Pascual’s enthusiasm and passion for football and his willingness made him throw the offer to the aspiring professional football player.
Pascual said he has not confirmed it yet. “I am is still weighing my options regarding the offer to play for Global FC. I still need to consult my parents,” said Pascual.
Lorenzo offered him a monthly allowance and a slot in the trainings for the Under-23 team of Global FC.
“I’m not forcing him because I know he still has obligations in Cebu and he still has to pursue his education but this is a good chance towards achieving his dream,” Lorenzo said.
The young player is overwhelmed by the response of other football teams to his performance.
“I feel so happy. It’s a good team with good players,” said Pascual.
Lorenzo asked Pascual to watch the championship game today of the Global FC against the Army Team so that he will get to know the players and observe them.
He already included Pascual in the list of players for the team’s next game.
“There are a lot of options. I could go to school here and and train at the same time or I could go back to Cebu and come back whenever they have trainings for the under 23 but my priority would be playing for the Azkals,” Pascual said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 22, 2011.
“I’m happy,” said Palami, adding that the Philippine Football Federation now has the list of 30 players from which the final 25 will be culled.
Palami said the core of the team that landed in the semis of the recent AFF Suzuki Cup will be around, including goalie Neil Etheridge, Chris and Simon Greatwich, Phil and James Younghusband, Rob Gier, Ray Jonsson, Jason de Jong, Anton del Rosario, Mark Drinkuth, Ian Araneta and skipper Aly Borromeo.
Etheridge and the others coming from Europe will arrive in Bacolod on Feb. 6, just in time for the match. The rest of the team leaves Manila for Bacolod on Jan. 26.
A few names, foreign sounding but with Filipino lineage have been added to the list, those of new European recruits Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Patrick Herget, John Hinrichsen, Oliver Potschke and Stephan Schrock.
“But it’s still premature to announce the final 25 because some of these new recruits aren’t good enough yet for the team. Medyo hilaw pa. And they’re still working on their (Philippine) passports,” Palami said.
The others in the initial list are Jerry Barbaso, Yanti Barsales, Joebel Bermejo, Emelio Caligdong, Chris Camcam, William Espinosa, Mark Ferrer, Roel Gener, Peter Jaligan (Jaugan ?), Nestor Margarse, Rey Palmes, Kristopher Relucio, Jason Sabio and Eduard Sacapano.
James and Phil Younghusband has signed for Jakarta club Jakarta 1928 report Indonesian football website Bolaindo Another Indonesian football blog report that Younghusbands will start in March for their new club .
Phil Younghusband denied today that he has signed for the club but "They have not signed anything. That doesn't mean they will not. As he said before - it has to be perfect. "
goal.com report about about press conference for Jakarta 1928 with a video presentation of Younghusband brothers where where they they said they were ready to join the club. The arrival of the players were still under discussion because of Azkals training camp before match against mongolia. The Younghusbands estimated that they could join in March.
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) announced on Thursday it has struck a deal with Asia Brewery to stage an international football competition featuring the Philippine Azkals later this year.
Dubbed as the 1st Manila Beer Cup, the event will see three other Southeast Asian teams going up the Azkals in a single round robin format where the team with most number of victories emerging as champion.
PFF chief Mariano Araneta said he sat down with Hubert Tan, Asia Brewery's vice president for sales, on Tuesday and they agreed to stage the tourney sometime in October at the Rizal Memorial football stadium in Manila.
Asia Brewery donated P250,000 to the Azkals' campaign in the recent AFF Suzuki Cup in Indonesia where the nationalteam, beefed up by Fil-foreigners, reached the semifinals for the first time.
"We might invite teams from Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia to join in the four-nation competition," Araneta said.
Araneta said he will extend the invitation to the countries' respective officials during the Asean Football Federation (AFF) meeting on Feb. 19.
Meanwhile, Araneta said the Panaad Stadium in the Bacolod City is being spruced up in time for the Azkals' 2012 AFC qualifying game against Mongolia on Feb. 9.
"The lighting is now being fixed while the dressing rooms are under going renovations," said Araneta, noting that part of the budget used for the reconstruction came from the P1-million fund released by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Giant TV network ABS-CBN will telecast the highly-anticipated match, which is the first leg of the home-and-away qualifier with the second meeting set March 15 at the National Stadium in Ulan Bator in Mongolia.
“AZKALS” supporters across the country are gearing up full-blast for the much-anticipated match between the Philippines and Mongolia in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup first leg on February 9 in Bacolod City.
Supporters from different parts of the country have started collaborating using social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter and other forums to map out plans on how to keep the 15,000-seater Panaad Stadium bustling.
A fan page called“Philippine National Football Team” with almost 50,000 followers encourages all fans to wear white shirt on the game day while team manager Dan Palami “is requesting everyone to come up with a demo video of Bamboo’s Noypi chant for the Azkals home game,” according to the site.
Filipino-British Chris Greatwich and Neil Etheridge expressed deep appreciation over the support coming from different entities.
“When we played in Panaad for the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Cup Qualifiers in 2006, the crowd was amazing.
They are so passionate about their football and I think it makes a huge difference. I think they will become our 12th player out there,” said Greatwich who scored crucial goals in the 2010 Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Football Federation Suzuki Cup including a last-minute equalizer against Singapore in the Group Stage.
For his part, Etheridge said “this is great for me to play again and I will be proud to be putting on the Philippine jersey again in front of all our fans. I would like to thank them for supporting the team.”
After receiving green light from Fulham Football Club, Etheridge is expected to rejoin the team on the first week of February while Greatwich’s date of arrival is still uncertain because of personal matters.
“I live in New York and I have to renew my visa which takes some time. I have my appointment at the embassy in a few weeks so hopefully all will be OK. My visa should come through in two weeks so hopefully after that comes through I can come out,” added Greatwich.
NEGROS Occidental Sports Coordinator and Executive Assistant Angel Verdeflor on Wednesday said that the Provincial Government is on hand in preparing the Panaad Stadium's football ground for the forthcoming AFC Challenge Cup match between the Azkals-Philippine Football team and Mongolia on February 9, 2011.
Verdeflor said that they are now repairing some parts of the stadium's pitch by planting grasses on areas, which were destroyed during the previous competitions.
On the other hand, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman and former Bacolod Representative Monico Puentevella earlier disclosed that after conducting inspection on the stadium's lightings, he assessed that the facilities' capacity will possibly pass the Asean Football Confederation's requirements.
Puentevella, who is also a member of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Advisory Council, also added that he will meet with PFF President Mariano Araneta and other PFF officers to give a report on the present situation of the stadium to Gov. Alfredo Marañon, who has been giving his all out support to the preparation. (JSG)
New Azkal's coach Hanz Michael Weiss was so impressed with the talents he saw in the tryout team that he asked for more time to decide who among them will be joining the Azkals in Bacolod when they play Mongolia in the first leg of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Qualifiers on Feb. 9.
The tryout team drew with the Azkals, 2-2 yesterday, which forced the German mentor to postpone naming the new members of the national team to Friday saying he wanted to see more of the tryout team.
Cebuano Paolo Pascual, who was part of the 11 players shortlisted for the national squad, said he received good reviews from the coach and was told to stay and train with the Azkals until they leave for Bacolod on Jan. 26.
“There is a big chance that I might make the team, but nothing is decided yet,” Pascual told Cebu Daily News last night.
Although no decision has yet been made, Pascual was already asked to stay and train as well for the World Cup 2014 qualifier in June and the U23 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November in Indonesia.
For this, Pascual, the current goalkeeper of the University of San Carlos (USC) team, said he might have to withdraw his subjects and stop schooling for the semester and even relocate to Manila.
His USC coach Gary Panagsagan said Pascual would be a big loss to the team but that he has their full support.
“It's his decision if he would transfer there, I will let him go for his development. He has our full support,” Panagsagan said.
Aside from becoming part of the Azkals, Pascual is also hoping that an Asian football club would notice him and offer him a chance to play football professionally.
“I am willing to forego my education to become a professional football player,” Pascual said.
Azkal team manager Dan Palami said he is leaving the decision to the coach on who would be part of the national team which he said would be within the week.
“We've been trimming it down since Monday and right now, it is more of determining how consistent the players are,” Palami said.
CEBU TRAINING CAMP
As for the Azkals having a training camp here in Cebu, Palami said it will depend on the pitch and the accommodation for the team.
He said he needs to insure that the pitch here would not pose any danger to the players.
Palami will be coming to Cebu City for the Board of Governors' meeting of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) on Jan. 29. He said he is also waiting for updates from Cebu Football Association (CFA) headed by Richard Montayre on the recommended venues.
Palami assured that Cebu though is being strongly considered as a training camp venue aside from Baguio, which has the suitable weather close to that of Mongolia where the second leg of the Challenge Cup qualifiers will be held in March.
“But we could also hold a training camp in both places,” Palami said.
Giant TV network ABS-CBN will be the official coveror of the much-awaited AFC Challenge Cup match between the Philippine Azkals and Mongolia on February 9, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta said on Tuesday.
ABS-CBN beat out rivals GMA-7 and TV-5 for the broadcasting rights of the event, which will be held in the 15,000-seater Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
“It’s ABS-CBN,” said Araneta, adding that it was Dan Palami, the Azkals’ team manager, who negotiated with the three TV networks. Araneta and Palami were set to meet late yesterday to discuss the TV rights deal.
Palami could not be reached for comment.
No further detail was given by Araneta, although he said the contract signing between the two groups is set on Monday.
Reached for comment, Peter Musngi, ABS-CBN’s vice president for news and sports, said they are grateful that they have agreed in principle although the details of the deal have yet to be finalized.
YOUNG Cebuano is one step closer to becoming an official Azkal.
Of the 50 who tried out for the national football team, only 13 made the first cut and homegrown athlete Paolo Pascual was one of them.
Pascual established himself well during the first day of the tryouts last Jan. 17 at the University of Makati grounds.
An all-out performance by the 19-year-old star from the University of San Carlos impressed the Azkals’ coaching staff. He received positive feedback from the coaches, who admired his composure during the game.
“He did well. The new coach wants him to be trained as a goal keeper,” said Dan Palami, team manager of the Azkals.
The team manager also confirmed that a goal-keeping coach from Germany will soon arrive to train the keepers.
“It feels great (to be shortlisted) but no expectations yet. It was a tough training but also a lot of fun,” Pascual said.
There will be a series of activities and trainings to test the endurance and overall performance of players during the rest of the tryout session, which ends today.
“If he is consistent, there is a possibility that he will be part of the training pool,” said Palami, adding that Pascual only needs to continue his A-game to keep his chances high.
The three-day tryouts was handled by the Azkals’ new coach Hanz Michael Weiss.
A mix of local and Fil-foreign players from United States, Italy and Germany completed the line-up of hopefuls.
Palami also said the first day of tryouts went well, with Weiss observing the players closely.
“The coach said there was talent but the players need to work on cohesion and conditioning,” he said.
The trials are also part of their preparation for the Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia later this year. The Azkals are looking for recruits for the senior team of 25 players and another 25 for the Under-23 team.
Meanwhile, the Azkals are doubling their efforts for their most awaited home-and-away match for the Asian Football Confederation Cup showdown against Mongolia at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod on Feb. 9.
Negotiations for the television broadcast of the Bacolod game is on its final stages with a major broadcasting company.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2011.