TWO young footballers from Davao City have been named to the Philippines U13 boys football team, which will compete in the Asean Football Confederation (AFC) Festival of Football from June 1 to 7 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Darius Joseph Ramos Diamante and Javier Romero-Salas, both of the Ateneo de Davao University, were the only players from the Davao Region taken in by the national team. The PH boy booters will be playing nine other countries in the week-long tournament.
Both 13 years old, Diamante and Romero-Salaws didn't just earned slots to the national squad, they were also picked captains of the young booters bound for international competition. Diamante was picked skipper of the first team and Romero-Salas was named captain of the second team.
Joy Ramos Diamante, Jed's mother, said Philippine Football Federation (PFF) officials made the announcement of the two Davao players' inclusion to the PH team last Saturday in Cebu where the players participated in a clinic conducted by some members of the Philippines Azkals at the Aboitiz Field.
Diamante and Romero-Salas had undergone training with other U13 players from others parts of the country since April 25 before they officially secured slots to the national team. Both players have been teammates since the time they played in the U6 tournaments.
Jed, as Diamante is called, has two brothers who were also named to the PH U14 team--Gio and Gelo. Diamante, who started playing soccer whe he was still five years old under coach Christian Eya, graduated from Grade 6 as salutatorian.
Both Diamante and Romero-Salas qualified to the PH U13 team when they were selected by coach Bing Colina during the PFF Mindanao finals held at the Deca Homes in Davao City. Both players have been teammates in Palarong Pambansa tournaments as well in a series of as competitions in Europe.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 30, 2011.