By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
With the NOFA-Ceres La Salle U22 squad booking its back-to-back title in the 2013 PFF-Suzuki U23 National Cup last May 30 in Dumaguete City, the provincial champion is working to fix a schedule with the Azkals U23 team.
This was confirmed by NOFA-Ceres La Salle U22 head coach Ali Go, saying, “We are trying to fix that match. We are willing to play with the Azkals U23 if PFF wants it. It’s up for them.”
NOFA-Ceres is considered the most formidable squad in the recent PFF-Suzuki U23 tournament which led them to a 1-nil triumph over Davao FA in the championship match.
After a scoreless first half, Gerardo Valmayor III scored that lone goal of the match in the 81st minute via penalty off the foul on fellow forward Jimuel Arriola – who was hardly tackled at the right flank inside the penalty box.
En route the finals, NOFA-Ceres crashed all its opponents in Group B without yielding not a single goal: 6-0 vs. Zamboanga del Norte-Dipolog; 5-0 vs. Davao FA; and 3-0 vs. Federated FA of Masbate. In the semifinals, the Negrenses also blanked archrival Iloilo City, 2-nil.
Despite that 1-nil win by NOFA-Ceres La Salle, team manager Leorey Yanson said this team is more consistent than the 2011 squad in spite a short preparation of four months.
At present, the Ceres FC’s professional squad is in tough preparation for the upcoming United Football League Cup.
This was disclosed by its team manager Yanson, saying the team prepares for the UFL Cup scheduled either August or September.
Ceres FC’s stint in the UFL Cup is a well-planned decision by the club management to take another step into competitive football.
Players to compose the Ceres FC for the UFL Cup will most likely come from the defending 2013 PFF-Smart Club championship titlist Ceres FC and 2013 PFF-Suzuki U23 National Cup champion NOFA-Ceres team while the team is managed by the Yanson siblings, Ricky and Leo Rey./