- Schröck: “I must show some backbone"
Fürths fan favorite has put his national team career on ice.
In the Philippines, he is a bit of a folk hero. For the national team, he is the only Bundesliga professional at the top of the hierarchy. Football in this east Asian island nation developed in a positive way with Stephan Schröck. However, that could soon be over. In the future, Schröck only wants to play for SpVgg Greuther Fürth, since vanity and intrigue regarding him in the Philippine Association just became too much.
Schröck experienced a lot in the five years that he played 17 games all in all for his mother’s motherland. There are many stories as beautiful and remote sounding as 1001 Nights, of football games in 40 degrees and 90 percent humidity, of the boisterous enthusiasm of the people, of the atmosphere around a sport that is far behind boxing and basketball in terms of popularity and that still needs to be established. But the professional, who grew up in Schweinfurt, also learned about the darker side: the craving for recognition, lack of respect, and collusion. He accepted a lot. But at one point, it became too much. « I now have the courage, and I said, that I will no longer continue with this bunch of chickens » said Schröck, who led the national team in recent years.
“I do not have to duck away when things get out of control. But it reached a point that I had to say: until here, no further” said the frankish Filipino. “I have to show some backbone.” The departure from the Azkals did not come naturally. Even when the Azkals (when translated, they are unflatteringly called “mongrels “) distinctly improved in the World rankings, and were on a better-than-ever-rank of 127th , his engagement with the Philippines was more a matter of the heart than a cold, calculated career move.
The former German junior national team player based his decision to play for the island nation since he wanted to give something back to is mother, and her family who lives on a small Philippine island. He has worn his mother’s family named “Cabizares” with pride for years. “It hurts me, that I will no longer travel there. It meant everything to me” said the 27 year old. His thrilling spirit faded all of a sudden. He appeared weepy. Not so much a football professional as a social worker, concerned about the welfare of his protégé. “You can give the people there a lot, and show them that you can be something, even when you have nothing.” However, Schröcks asisstance in its development is over. At least for now. His announcement to no longer player for the Azkals, however, need not be forever. “But a few things that I spoke of internally need to change. Some people in the association need to understand, that you cannot disrespectfully circumvent the older players” said Schröck with little ambiguity.
In the near future, Schröck can certainly concentrate fully for the Kleeblatt (the clover leaf, the symbol of the team), who will start for the team on Saturday at the start of the new second division season. A comeback does not seem to be possible. Since for this, the Philippine Association must first humble national team manager Tom Dooley. The ties between the former Homburg, Kaiserslautern, Leverkusen and Schalke player and Schröck have been cut. The player from Schweinfurt demands no less than Dooley’s resignation. “As long as he is the trainer, by no means shall I come back.”