The last quarter of the year will be very hectic for the Bacolod City-based Ceres Football Club with four crucial tournaments on their plate, the 2013 NOPSSCEA season, University Games, Smart Club regional qualifier, and the team’s debut to the country’s only premier tournament, the United Football League.
Ceres FC assistant coach Ramon Janeo said they are bringing in four foreigners into the team to strengthen their bid for the title in the United Football Cup.
In addition to their Korean mainstays, goalkeeper Hyoun Jaen Jun and forward Yoon Byeong Jun, Janeo said Briton Danny Claxton will rejoin the team while Irish-Nigerian Orman Okunaiya will be Ceres FC’s surprise package for its UFL bid.
“Everyone is excited with our manager Leo Rey Yanson throwing in his full support to the team’s build-up training,” Janeo said.
But while they are focusing much of their attention to the UFL, the assistant coach said Ceres-La Salle FC is equally determined to defend its NOPSSCEA title this season and nail the University Games championship next month.
To keep their top billing in the PFF-Smart National Club Championship and once again return to the finals, they have to hurdle first the October 4-6 regional qualifier against archrival Iloilo and the equally competitive teams from Dumaguete and neighboring areas.
At the NOPSSCEA games this year, Ceres-La Salle only has the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos as title contender. Janeo said they were informed by the organizers that playing date for the two teams is set on September 28 and 29.
All members of the team who are enrolled at the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod this year will be seeing action in the NOPSSCEA. They will also form the same lineup for the University Games set on October 20 to 28, Janeo said.
Meanwhile, he said Ceres FC players are scheduled to play several tune up games in preparation for the various tournament lined up in the next four months.
Recently, the squad played and won in Iloilo City against the Korean-reinforced Central Philippine University, 2-1, and next week, they are heading off to Manila for another set of friendly matches against UFL teams.
Janeo said coach Ali Rojas has been attending meetings in Manila to finalize the team’s entry to UFL and have been negotiating with the representatives of Kaya FC, Meralco, and Archers for a possible friendly game.*NAB
Visayan Daily Star