YOUNG football fans hoping to land slots n the Philippine national team and play in an international tournament will have their big chance of realizing their dream when the Davao Football Association (DFA) hosts the Philippine Football Association (PFF) Mindanao Regional Festival of Football from March 18 to 20 at the Deca Homes Resort and Residences Field in Barangay Tacunan, Davao City.
DFA secretary general Erwin Protacio said the three-day festival is aimed at identifying and selecting players for the national team that will participate in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U13 Boys Festival of Football this May in Malaysia and the AFC U14 Girls Festival of Football in June in Vietnam.
Nina Ricci Yanto of Catalunan Grande, and Gabby del Fierro and Janna Barcemo of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) are part of the national team that took part in the 2010 edition of the games.
Protacio said Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and Davao City will take part in the boys event while Agusan del Norte and Davao City are the only teams in the girls division.
The opening and kick off ceremony is scheduled on March 18 at 8:30 a.m. with third district Rep. Isidro T. Ungab as the guest of honor.
Mintal barangay captain Ramon Bargamento II and Tacunan barangay captain Algen Asobe dela Pena will welcome the participants.
The PFF will send Oliver Colina, the head coach of the U13 team, to personally select the players. Consur Manreza will be the tournament commissioner and Alberto Honasan, former Mr. Football, will represent PFF.
There will also be a referee's refresher course on March 15-16 March at the Tionko football grounds to update them on the rules of the Festival of Football. This seminar will be conducted by Jaime Nicolau of Negros Occidental Football Association.
A total of eight referees from the Davao Football Association will attend this course headed by referees' committee chair Aaron Bantilan.
The team managers' meeting will be on March 17 at the Mintal Barangay Hall starting at 7 p.m.
The event is in cooperation with the Department of Education, Deca Homes Resort and Residences, Barangay Mintal, Barangay Tacunan, Mintal Police Station, 69th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, Office of the City Mayor, Medvil Farms Inc., UP Mindanao, and Rep. Ungab.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 17, 2011.