By Earl Leonhard Sebastian
MANILA, Philippines – Ceres-Negros FC bolstered its bid in the upcoming 14th AFC Cup by acquiring Azkals mainstays Iain Ramsay, Simone Rota, Jason de Jong, OJ Porteria, Junior Munoz and Joshua Grommen.
The team also recruited Japanese Kota Kawase, and Spaniards Manuel Lopez and Fernando Ortega.
Ceres assistant coach Ali Go described Kawase as “an extremely talented young kid. I watched him play abroad for two days before I approached him if he can play for Ceres. His team and his manager were very accommodating and granted our request. The good part too is he is kind, humble and can speak English.”
Busmen Coach Rusto Vidakovic said that despite adding all these key players, “Chemistry is not an issue in this squad. They all know their roles well. We can be more competitive facing other squads.”
“Training and preparation for the AFC Cup is starting. The other players may come from other countries, they still have to adjust to the temperature here and the jetlag, but they’ll get there. Right now, the team is working hard and are on a right track,” he added.
Aside from their friendly matches against Loyola Meralco Sparks and Stallion FC, the team is also flying to Singapore for exhibition matches against Singaporean club teams like Home United and the national youth team.