FILIPINO football fans will surely get a big kick out of this: Phil and James Younghusband are set to make their club debut for San Beda FC that will see action in the Smart Club Championships.
"They have started training with San Beda FC under former national coach Aris Caslib and will compete in the Smart tournament," a reliable source said yesterday.
The source said by joining San Beda FC "the Younghusbands are showing everyone they really want to stay in the Philippines and play here."
The Filipino-British siblings, products of the English Premier League Chelsea Football Club program, have been in the country for nearly four years.
They rejoined the national team, popularly known as the Azkals, last year and were key factors in the squad’s sensational run to the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup, Southeast Asia’s men’s football championship.
James, 25, and Phil, 24, launched the Younghusband Football Academy last year to impart their soccer experience and skills to young hopefuls whose numbers have grown immensely largely through the success of the Azkals.
"It has been a long since we have been considered professional football players and we are very happy to have that opportunity again, especially in the Philippines," the source quoted Phil as saying.
"It has been our dream to be professional football players since we were kids," Younghusband added. "We feel privileged and proud that we are given this opportunity in the Philippines."
The Younghusbands have declined huge offers coming from Indonesia.
While midfielder James saw action for the Azkals in last month’s Asian Challenge Cup qualifying group tournament in Myanmar, striker Phil had to stay behind after tearing his right hamstring in the second match of the ACC qualifying series against Mongolia in Ulan Bator earlier.
Since then, James has been undergoing therapy and is expected to be back in harness when the national team resumes fitness training next month.