MANILA, Philipines- Defending United Football League champions Global FC will have a tough schedule come the opening of the football season as they are set to represent the country in the upcoming AFC Cup.
Head coach Leigh Manson told the media during the club’s gala night at the Makati Shangri-la hotel on Tuesday, February 3, the players are excited to play in the competition, as it will be a first for Philippine football.
“[The players are] very, very excited and very proud. I think we are aware that we are not just representing Global but representing the nation as well,“ he said.
Manson added that their club’s inclusion in the continental tournament is a testament to the rise of local football here in the country.
“I think that the Philippines at club level is arriving on the world stage because if you do well in a competition like that, everybody will notice you.”
Global FC is housed in Group G together with South China AA of Hong Kong, Pahang FA of Malaysia and Myanmar’s Yadanarbon FC.
Coach Manson admitted that they will be facing tough competition from their group, especially during their away games and stressed that they hope that the Filipino fans will come out to support them during their home games here in the country.
He also emphasized that their club’s target is to slip through the group stage and qualify for the next round.
“We’ve got the responsibility to do our job to really show how the players are and with a little bit of luck, we’ll be out of our group. And that will be our target, get out of the group and take it game by game.”
Meanwhile, Global FC president Dan Palami revealed that the first game of his club against South China AA in the Asian club football tilt on February 25 will be held here in the country in the brand new Philippine Stadium in Bulacan.
“We have been privileged to have been given the right to use it by those who manage to stadium.”
Aside from Global, two-time national club champs Ceres-La Salle FC will also be part of the AFC Cup.