BY NIDA BUENAFE
Filipino-German midfielder and Philippine Azkals mainstay Stephan Schrock arrived in Bacolod City yesterday to join the Ceres-La Salle FC as the squad prepares for the Group E qualifiers of the AFC Cup 2016.
Schrock said it has always been his dream to play in the Philippines and he is glad to be part of the Ceres team.
“First of all I have to fit in into the team and get back on my daily training,” Schrock told local sports reporters.
While he was not yet able to talk to head coach Ali Go about the details of his role in the team, Schrock said he is ready to play any position the coach would assign him.
Despite receiving offers to play for teams in the Middle East, Thailand and another club in Germany, the quick footed midfielder said “the only (thing) I am happy with was to play in the Philippines.”
Schrock said he will be playing for Ceres until middle of August while on loan from SpVgg Greuther Fürth, his club in Germany.
Meanwhile, coach Go describes Schrock's entry into the team as “big” as he is a very experienced player whose work ethic will push all players to their potential.
“He is an impact player who could change the result of a game,” coach Go said, adding that the Fil-German has a dynamic pace and can read the game well.
“But this is a team sport, all players will have to work hard and cohesion or playing as a team is important for the win,” the coach emphasized.
Schrock's inclusion into the Ceres FC lineup is a booster to the team's chances in the qualifiers of the AFC 2016 where they will face the Tampines/Warriors of Singapore, Selangor of Malaysia, and Lt. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi of Bangladesh in Group E.
Two of three home games of Ceres will be played at Panaad Stadium while the third is scheduled at Rizal Memorial Complex.
The Panaad games will be on Feb. 23 against Malaysia and on May 10 against Bangladesh on May 10.
The Rizal Memorial match against Singapore is scheduled on April 12.
The Ceres away games are on March 8 in Bangladesh, March 15 in Singapore and April 26 in Malaysia.