NATIONAL football team star Stephan Schrock is looking forward to rejuvenating his club career at AFC Cup-bound Ceres-La Salle following his surprising move from German second division side Greuther Furth.
The dynamic midfielder has spent his entire career in Germany playing for his boyhood club, Furth, as well as Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt in the top-flight before deciding to move to the Philippines.
Speaking for the first time since his deal was announced by the Bacolod-based club, the 29-year-old said he’s looking forward to a new challenge with Ceres where he will team up with fellow Fil-Germans Patrick Reichelt, Manny Ott and Kevin Ingreso.
“I’m very happy,” Schrock, who has scored four goals in 22 international matches, told the Inquirer. “I can’t wait to start.”
The transfer to Ceres will also make it easier for Schrock to represent the Azkals as he no longer needs to travel from Europe for the matches.
Perhaps the only thing that has made the move difficult is being away from his family, Schrock said.
“It will be hard during the first part of my stay, but they will follow in April,” said Schrock who has a 3-year-old son with wife Pina.
Schrock is undoubtedly the most high profile signing of the off-season having just played in the German first division a couple of seasons ago. In fact, Schrock was responsible for marking French star Franck Ribery when Frankfurt played German champions Bayern Munich in 2014.
Schrock will also play for Ceres in the UFL Cup which begins Feb. 6 at Rizal Memorial Stadium. Ceres opens its campaign in the AFC Cup on Feb. 23 against Malaysian side Selangor at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.
UFL general manager Rely San Agustin believes Schrock’s presence will help raise the level in the club competition.
“I hope I do,” said Schrock, hoping his presence will boost club football in the country. “You know how much I love Philippine football.”