After lengthy negotiations, the Loyola Meralco Sparks and Global have come to an agreement over the transfer of Matthew Hartmann. The midfielder, recently crowned MVP and Best Midfielder in the Sparks’ title-winning campaign in the PFF Smart National Club Championship, leaves after being a fixture at the club since its inception four years ago. During his time with Loyola he won a UFL Cup title, a PFF National Club Championship title, and a runners-up finish in the League.
“First of all, he’s the longest standing player at the club. And it’s always hard to lose a player that’s been there since the beginning,” said Team Manager Armand Del Rosario, who also revealed the club was close to extending Hartmann’s contract, which was set to expire in June. “We were on the verge of signing him to a longer term contract, but the pull to play with his brother and to play in the AFC Cup decided it. Although we didn’t want to lose him, with Global’s interest, it was a decision that was a win for both clubs. We wish him the best of luck. I feel he’s one of the best players in the League and I really want him to be the best he can be out there.”
Hartmann’s departure ushers in the arrival of Philippine National Team player Curt Dizon from Global.
“Curt is an exciting young player,” said Del Rosario. “At 21 years old he’s got a bright future ahead of him for the Azkals, and for Meralco.”
While the deal has been agreed, Hartmann will not be able to play for Global in the United Football League until the next transfer window opens in April, but he will be eligible to suit up for his new team for the upcoming AFC Cup matches.
Having been a crucial figure in the clubs’ successful first four years, Matthew Hartmann’s time at the club will be remembered fondly by all involved with the Loyola Meralco Sparks.