By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
“The reason why we join tournaments is to become champions,” said Ceres-La Salle FC Director Ali Bernard Go.
The two-time Philippine Football Federation-Smart Club Champion defending titlist and United Football League Division 2 champion Ceres-La Salle FC officially signed up six more players yesterday during the contract signing and press conference held at 21 Bar in Bacolod City.
The Bacolod-based club signed up Azkals veteran turned Ceres FC team captain Fil-Spanish Juani Guirado, Fil-Ams forward Nate Burkey and defender Jason Sabio, Fil-Belgian winger Jeffrey Christaeans, Fil-German midfielder Manny Ott, and Spanish veteran forward Adrián Gallardo.
The newly-signed players will join the star-studded team composed of local and international standouts led by co-skipper and veteran goalkeeper Michael Casas, second choice keeper Bago City-native Eduard Sacapaño, Talisay City’s Camelo Tacusalme and Jalsor Soriano, Negrenses Arnie Pasinabo Jr., Lemuel Unabia, J Baguioro, and Jayson Panhay, Fil-Italian twins Marvin and Marwin Angeles, Fil-German Patrick Reichelt, Fil-Spanish Carlie de Murga, Fil-Belgian Angelo Marasigan, and foreign reinforcements Orman Okunaiya, Kevin Capolei, Jin ho Kim, Kim Sang min, Kyum-Son Cho,andYong ChanSon.
The build-up is part of the team’s goal to bring Philippine football to the next level and be the best in Southeast Asia.
Despite the language barrier, Ceres FC Korean head coach ChaSoungyooung said that there’s no major adjustment in the team. “I’ve been working with the team for a couple of years and they are organized.”
According to Go, the team worked hard to familiarize themselves with the system. “Yes, we have players coming from various football approaches like of Europe, United States, South Korea and the Philippines, but we have one system in the Ceres FC and that is what binds us,” he said.
Facing the challenges of having several players playing in the national team, Go said that they have been working closely with the Azkals’ management on how to deal with some issues concerning Ceres’ players. “While the club is looking at some tough tournaments this month onward, they are also looking at arranging details on rendering service to the country,” the former national team striker stressed, adding, “All these events are important to us at Ceres, and we are not taking things lightly or selecting which to prioritize.”
This weekend, the Ceres FC will start its campaign for the UFL’s FA League Cup – going up against a tough group composed of Loyola’s Meralco Sparks, Stallion GC, Manila Jeepney FC, Pachanga Diliman FC, Green Archers United, and Army FC.
Helping Coach Cha in directing the team are assistants Ian Treyes and Jason Cordova./WDJ watchmen daily journal
Upgrading its lineup with new recruits from the men’s national team, the Azkals, Ceres Football Club is all prepared for head-on collision against the formidable squads playing in the first division of the United Football League, the only premier football competition in the country.
Ceres FC club director Ali Go said in a press conference yesterday that their dominant performance in the UFL second division earned the team higher expectations from their opponents in the first division.
“Ceres is now considered as the strongest team, but we need to prove it. We are working hard..the players and the coaching staff are giving their 200 percent (effort) to earn good results,” Go said.
Tapping new players from the Azkals is the management way of building a team that can withstand all challenges in the coming tournaments, he added.
Ceres FC will open its bid for the UFL FA Cup this Saturday against Pachanga at Rizal Stadium in Manila and against the Stallions of Iloilo on September 23.
In addition to their UFL schedule, Ceres FC is also preparing to defend their title in the PFF Smart Club National Championships, while the recruits from the Azkals will be needed by the national team for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup slated on November 22 to December 20 to be co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam.
Go said they will follow FIFA rules in releasing the Ceres FC players to the national team but they want to make sure that releasing them early will bring in good results for the country, the players and their home club.
He said they are ready to make the necessary adjustments in the absence of the national team members.
AFTER a short stint with the Philippine men’s football team four years ago, Simon McMenemy is back and ready to stay for the long haul at club level in the United Football League. The Scottish mentor who steered the Azkals to a historic semifinal finish in the 2010 Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup and sparked the renaissance in the sport in the country, has returned to handle the star-studded Loyola Meralco club. A lack of license to manage a national team barred him from getting a contract extension with the Philippines and his coaching journey brought him to club teams in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Maldives. Now McMenemy is back in the country to lead the Sparks starting with the UFL season that kicks off on Saturday with the Football Alliance League Cup. “It genuinely is quite a humbling experience to come back and have people tell you that you were a major reason why football is the way it is now,” Mcmenemy said on Tuesday at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum where he was formally introduced. “I’ve learned a huge amount in the last four years and I’m totally a different person than I was four years ago,” the 36-year-old coach said. “What I bring here is experience.” Mcmenemy takes over from Vince Santos, who guided the Sparks to a breakthrough title in the 2013 UFL Cup before they ended up as bridesmaids to Global FC in the League wars. “There’s a great motivation for us to do well this year and I’m very keen to see these guys play,” the Mcmenemy said. With stars Phil and James Younghusband, Matthew Hartmann, and Simon Greatwich re-signing and a key local acquisitions in Anton del Rosario, Eddie Mallari in the side that still has Lee Joo Young, Joaco Canas, Baba Sampana, Roxy Dorlas, Sam Bonney, and Fred Gonzalez, Mcmenemy believes he has the material to sustain the gains the team has made. “I think we have the best squad in the league,” he declared less than a month into the job. “There’s a great crop of young and experienced Filipino players.” The Sparks also have international signings in Pedro Marenco, Max Wright, Jamal Fenelon, Charlie Beaton, Brian Fredrick, Josh Grommen, Jorrel Aristorenas, and Reuben Silitonga. Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/ufl/news/ex-azkals-coach-simon-mcmenemy-loyola-meralco-sparks-ufl-philippine-football
Global FC on Monday unveiled its lineup for the FA League Cup starting next week.
The People's Club which begins its campaign against Dolphins United strengthened its side with new signings led by national team goalkeeper Patrick Deyto from Green Archers United and midfielder Paolo Bugas from Loyola Meralco.
Joining Deyto and Bugas are winger Mahmoud Ali from the United Arab Emirates, goalkeeper Jun Badelic, who plays for Emilio Aguinaldo College in the NCAA, striker Edgar Briones and defender Christian Ocana, who were both raised in Mexico, Filipino-Japanese pair of midfielder Hikaru Minegishi and striker Satoshi Otomo, and midfielder Dennis Villanueva who was raised in Italy.
Also included are five players from the Global Under-19 side in Jeremiah Borlongan, Marco Casambre, Troy Limbo, Josh Miller and Mark Winhoffer.
They join holdovers like Jason de Jong, Misagh Bahadoran, Amani Aguinaldo, Daisuke Sato, Mark Hartmann, Milad Behgandom and Izzo El Habbib.
Eight players meanwhile left Global during the offseason namely Aaron Altiche, John Leo Andes, Jeffrey Christiaens, Hamed Hajimahdi, Valentine Kama, Paolo Pascual, John Regis and Reuben Silitonga.