MANILA – Iloilo City’s Stallion Gilligan’s Football Club and JP Voltes Football Club have followed their former United Football League (UFL) rivals in moving to the newly-formed Philippines Football League (PFL). Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta confirmed the move of Stallion and JP Voltes, saying the teams are deciding what city they will use as their homecourt. “We are still negotiating for Stallion to use Iloilo as their home province. If they do, JP Voltes can use Biñan. If Stallion uses Biñan, probably they (Voltes) can use Iloilo,” Araneta said. “Actually, we already met with the other teams and what we talked about was to form the corporation already so that they can be part of the decision making,” added the PFF official. Stallion and JP Voltes will thus join reigning UFL titlist Global Football Club-Cebu, Ceres Football Club-Davao and Loyola Meralco Sparks Football Club-Taguig in moving to the new football league, which is set to launch in the first quarter of 2017. The PFL is now the country’s premier professional football league and will serve as the qualifying arena for all international competitions. In its first season, the league is eyeing six teams that will play for eight months. While the UFL hold solely its matches at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, the PFL will go down to the cities and provinces. For its inaugural season, the PFL will only have one division – playing in a home-and-away, double round-robin format with the top four teams advancing to the semis and later to the finals. Each team is required to have minimum of 25 players with a maximum of 30, including three goalkeepers, four foreign players (3+1 player from the Asian Football Confederation), and a minimum of three youth players in the roster./PN
New Philippines Football League
1 .Global Fc to Cebu
2. Ceres Fc in Bacolod
3 .Loyola to Taguig
4.Stallions to Laguna (Binan)
5.Kaya to Makati ?
6. JP Voltes Fc to Marikina ? 7. Davao team TBC 8. Green Archers United , TBC
The Loyola Meralco Sparks is pleased to announce a host of new changes to the club ahead of a highly anticipated year in Philippine football.
Last year’s assistant team manager, Belay Fernando, is now the Sparks’ General Manager, and Aris Caslib has been appointed head coach of the first team, and technical director of the academy.
Fernando has been a part of the Loyola Meralco Sparks since its inception, and her career in Philippine football includes stints as a national team player, and as a member of the coaching staff of the nation’s U-14 women’s team.
“I am very honored to be trusted with a position to serve the meralco organization. I want to thank Randy Roxas, Sir Viboy Genuino and Sir Al Panlilio for this opportunity, and as well to the players and staff that I have learned from over the past five years,” she said.
“I am committed to continuing the Meralco Sparks tradition of excellence through playing football the right way with integrity, honor, and character.”
Fernando also expressed her excitement at Aris Caslib’s appointment. The former head coach of the Philippine National Team, longtime San Beda mentor, and most recently, the Philippine Football Federation’s (PFF) Technical Director is generally viewed as among the country’s most respected homegrown tacticians, and a mentor to many in the community. He is also a technical committee member, and coach education panel member to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
“I’ve worked a lot with Coach Aris and he is a very knowledgeable and experienced coach. He’s been a mentor to me throughout my career in football, as he has been for so many players and coaches out there. We share the same vision and ideals for the club, but the thing that excites me the most is those moments we don’t agree about things and we challenge each other to think outside the box. I truly believe that he’s the best person to lead us into this new chapter of Philippine Football,” she stated, before expressing her enthusiasm for what is expected to be a groundbreaking year for the sport.
“It’s an exciting time for football in the Philippines and we will do our part in supporting the growth of the sport. I’ve been so fortunate to have grown with this sport and to have seen how far it has come. It is an honor to have this opportunity to give back and I will do what ever is required to help the sport and community thrive.”
Indonesian club Madura United will not sign Azkal Stephan Schröck because his German club wants a transfer fee.
After more than two years with the Loyola Meralco Sparks, Simon McMenemy will be moving on to a new chapter in his coaching career.
His signing in August of 2014 was received with plenty of excitement, and within six months he showed why. McMenemy led a new look squad to a first-ever PFF National Club Championship title, beating rivals Ceres-La Salle and Global in the process. The trophy held a special significance, as it was his first as a professional coach.
Speaking about his departure, the Scot admitted it wasn’t easy having to leave a squad he had grown close to over the last two seasons.
“It’s always very difficult,” he said at his farewell dinner. “When you have such a close unit like this team — it’s such a close group of players — it’s hard. It’s really hard to wake up tomorrow and think that I’m not doing this again. I’m not gonna be around these guys. It’s a difficult group of players to walk away from.”
Famous for his role as mentor to the historic 2010 Philippine National Team, which defied all odds to reach the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup, Simon McMenemy will forever be linked to the growth of football in the country. And while his presence and focus will now be placed in a different part of the world, he urged everyone in the Philippine footballing community to come together in continuing the sport’s upward climb.
“I think football is very much still in its early stages here. It needs a combined effort to take it to the next level. You can’t just rely on players. You can’t just rely on sponsors. We can’t just rely on the PFF. We can’t just rely on the UFL. Everybody involved in football, watching football at home or able to get into stadiums, everybody should be playing a part,” he expressed.
“Come along and support the games. Be passionate about it. Buy a shirt. Come along and get your kids involved.”
His passion for the game, often evident in his expressive nature on the sidelines, will be remembered fondly by the club’s supporters. And even upon his departure, he emphasized again his deep desire to see the sport continue to flourish in the country.
“Football is being brewed by going to Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga. Such trips could do so much good. I think it’s something that everyone should get involved in and everyone who wants football to be in a better place has a responsibility to help us.”
“It shouldn’t just be about the clubs,” he concluded
Simon McMenemy’s impact on football’s development in the Philippines has been profound, and will remain strong in the years to come. The club wishes him all the best in his next adventure.
Philippine National Football Team defender Simone Rota was unveiled as the 2016 Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Hero of the Year for his contributions to the local community.
The 32-year-old booter was chosen by the local football governing body together with the Azkals foundation for his work not only on the pitch but also for his charity work.
Since his arrival in the Philippines back in 2014, Rota has been very active in helping the less fortunate youth through the Buklod Kalinga orphanage.
According to Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley, who handed the award Rota, they chose to hand the honor to the imposing defender due to his passion for helping the kids in need.
“There are many talented players in the Azkals and Simone is a very wonderful. He does anything possible to make everything possible for the kids. He always does a little bit more not only in football but also especially to street children in Manila,” he explained.
Rota was officially proclaimed as the awardee for the said recognition through a ceremony at Buklod Kalinga last week, which included the turnover of the life-size statue of the player.
Consequently, Rota claimed that he was surprised that he was given the accolade and claimed that he did not know that he would be recognized in such way.
“I didn’t expect it. They told me that we will only be having a meeting with coach Dooley then we will proceed to the feeding for the kids after,” he commented.
He continued, “I have been staying here for a long time and I’m very thankful for the recognition. This award is special not only for me but for the kids as well.”
From his transfer from playing in Europe to playing for Stallion FC in the United Football League, Rota has chosen to live among the orphans at Buklod Kalinga.
It was where Italian couple Maurizio and Marilena Rota adopted him after being abandoned by his biological parents when he was just two months old in 1984.
Meanwhile, Rota declared that the award is a good way to end his year as he slowly recovers from a major injury in his knee while playing for his domestic club.
“2016 has been really, really tough for me. I suffered two major injuries. This award will help me start for the New Year with new energy. I will be working hard for the Azkals in March,” he concluded.
THE CEBU Football Association (CFA) will open 2017 with a major football event dubbed “The 7th Sinulog Festival” slated on Jan. 28 and 29, 2017 at the Cebu City Sports Center.
According to one of the tournament officials Manuel Dumangcas, around 150 teams are expected to compete in this event which features 15 age groups and uses a 7-aside format.
The 15 age groups and divisions are, mixed under 7, mixed under 9, mixed under-11, boys under 13, girls under 13, boys under 15, girls under 15, boys under-18, girls under-18, inter BPO men’s division, Inter BPO ladies division, ladies open, men’s open, 38-above and 45-above.
Registration fee ranges from P800 to 2,000, depending on the age group or division. There will be a discount for teams that will register before Jan. 12, 2017.
This tournament is part of the activities lined up for the month-long celebration of the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.
By HENRY G. DOBLE THE Ceres Negros Football Club returned to the drawing board as it prepares for next year’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Group Stage from late February to May 2017. The Negros Occidental-based club has for the second straight year qualified to the AFC Cup together with Tampines Rovers or Geylang International of Singapore, Malaysia’s Felda United, and Ha Noi T&T or SHB Da Nang of Vietnam, and will hold home games for Group G at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. Rovers and Ha Noi T&T will see action in the AFC Champions League play-offs. If these teams advance to the league’s group stage, Geylang and SHB will take their respective spots. The local club has expressed appreciation to the support shown by the Negrense fans, Negros Occidental Football Association president Ricardo Yanson Jr., and Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. for continuously helping the sport of football. In ensuring that the hosting will be in accordance with the AFC requirement, the Ceres Negros FC will meet with concerned agencies to address the necessary details which include stadium readiness, security, marketing and promotions, transportation, and accommodations for the AFC officials and visiting teams. Earlier this year, Panaad Stadium also hosted the AFC Cup Group C home matches against teams from Singapore, Malaysia, and Bangladesh and had Hong Kong’s South China AA during the Round of 16. Meanwhile, with the deadline for the teams’ confirmation in the newly-established Philippines Football League set this December 31, Ceres Negros Football Club is expected to bring in a stronger team. Club technical director Ali Go said they are now finalizing their roster which will be announced when the camp resumes in January, ahead of the AFC Cup group stage.
The PFF Women’s League has been in full swing since it began last November 13 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. With eight playdates already in the bag, the Women’s League is shaping up to be a tight affair along with the rise of some up and coming players.
De La Salle University have been a force to reckon with in the first four matches. The Green and White squad have won four straight games to go to the top of the table undefeated with 12 points coming off a remarkable 3-2 win over Far Eastern University last Sunday.
La Salle forward Kyra Dimaandal admits the League brings a fresh competition for each team.
“The league right now is unpredictable,” said Dimaandal. “It’s really about who’s facing who and not just about the team itself.”
“We’re able to see our mistakes, what we can improve on and it’s important for those who are new to play inside the game and that’s their chance to build up their confidence,” continued the forward.
Dimaandal’s teammate Sara Castaneda, echoed her teammates thoughts on the League as a way to improve Women’s football in the country.
“This is the first time to have this league ever since I started playing football,” said Castaneda, who was also part of the Philippine Women’s National team early this year. “It’s very good for the development.”
Green Archers United forward Alisha Del Campo bared that the chance to play against experienced players is paying off by participating in the Women’s League. The youngster has been on the ascendancy ever since she was given the chance to play for her team.
“This league is a great opportunity for us players to help make women’s football known to this country even more and it gives us a chance also to play with and against smart & skilled players that we look up to,” said Del Campo. “The exposure so far is overwhelming, and I am glad to be part of this league.”
The Women’s League will take a Christmas break and will continue on the second week of January at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Philippines could have three clubs playing in Asian Football Confederation competitions next year, following the AFC’s decision to allot one slot to the country in the AFC Champions League preliminary round.
Reigning United Football League champion Global FC will vie in the top club competition—the AFC Champions League—in the continent starting in January, while Ceres-La Salle will once again compete in the AFC Cup group stage.
A third Philippine club—the Loyola Meralco Sparks—could make the AFC Cup, if Global qualifies for the main draw of the Champions League, where some of the biggest clubs in Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates see action.
The Sparks finished third in the UFL league competition this year.
It's a huge honor and a responsibility at the same time being the pioneering Philippine club in the Champions’ League,” said Global chief executive Dan Palami, who is also manager of the national men’s football team.
“It’s going to be a tough journey since we’ll have to win three games before reaching the group stages. But I’m happy for Philippine football. Having a Philippine club in the Champions League is a testament to the growth and development of the sport in the country.”
Global won’t have the luxury of time to prepare as it starts its bid against Singapore side Tampines Rovers on Jan. 24 at Rizal Memorial Stadium. The winner of the clash will travel to Australia for a Jan. 31 knockout match with A-League side Brisbane Roar. Chinese giants Shanghai Shenhua await the survivor of the game in Brisbane on Feb. 7 with the winner moving on to the main draw of the Champions League.
Wanted: Foreign players
Palami said the club is still in the process of acquiring foreign players, as the likes of Omid Nazari, Milan Nikolic and Ivan Petrovic left Global after their championship winning season last October.
If Global ends up playing in the second-tier competition, the AFC Cup, the Filipino side will be in Group F alongside Malaysian champion Johor Darul Tazim, Magwe of Myanmar and the winner between Boeung Ket Angkor of Cambodia and Lao Toyota of Laos in a playoff.
Ceres landed in Group H with Vietnam league champ Ha Noi T and T, Felda United of Malaysia and Tampines Rovers of Singapore. If Tampines makes the Champions League main draw, Geylang International will take its place in the group.
There will be plenty of football excitement as PFF has been granted a slot in the AFC Champions League Preliminary/ Playoff stage. Global FC, the United Football League’s top finisher, will be representing the Philippines in the EAST Slot allocation along with clubs from Korea Republic, Japan, China PR, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Singapore.
To qualify for the group stage of the AFC Champions League, Global FC must win each match assigned in the three (3) stages leading to the group stage. The first assignment is scheduled on 24 January 2017 against Tampines Rovers FC from Singapore. The fans will be delighted as the match will be held in the Philippines.
If Global FC wins, the next assignment will be an away game against Brisbane Roar who finished 4th in the Australian League. The match is scheduled on 31 January 2017.
The play-off stage, which will be another away match, is scheduled on 07 February 2017 against China’s Shanghai Shenhua FC who placed 4th in the Chinese Superleague.
Should Global FC fails to reach the group stage of the AFC Champions League, they will be awarded a slot in the AFC Cup 2017 group stage. If Global FC succeeds, Loyola Meralco Sparks FC, who placed third in the United Football League, will be nominated for the AFC Cup 2017 group stage, joining Ceres-Negros FC.
Davao City will host the two-day 4th Asian Freestyle Football Championship which kicks-off today at the SM Premier Fountain Court with about 31 delegates from 12 countries for the competition.
Jointly organized by Maharlika Sports Development Foundation and the Asia Freestyle Football Federation in partnership with the City Sports Division, Liga ng Barangay and the Department of Education (DeEd), the freestyle football event will be participated by delegates from Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Iran and Singapore.
The theme: “Isang Bola ka Lang” is inspired by the World Freestyle Football Federation (WFFF) brand - “All you Need is a Ball”, said Edgar Te, executive director of the Maharlika Sports Development Foundation, Inc. Te said the aim of the event is to “create responsible sports development program for children.”
Te said the qualifying rounds will today, when they select 16 to qualify for the finals tomorrow. The second day of the event will be graced by four members of the Azkals, the Philippine National Football team.
Te said this is the first time the country is hosting the freestyle football championship after this was brought first to Vietnam then to Kuala Lumpur and Indonesia.
In an interview, Nam Hoai Nguyen, secretary general of the Asian Freestyle Football Federation, said the federation aims to bring the freestyle football all over Asia. He said they wanted to impart education to Asian communities especially among the youth through tricks, music and dance with football.
He hoped the sports event will inspire the youth in Davao, noting that the freestyle football has continually gained popularity worldwide since early 1900s. In the early 21st century, Nike began an advertising campaign which relied heavily on the freestyle form of football.*PNA
MANILA--In another turn in the story of draws between the Philippines and Malaysia, the under-22 sides fought for another goalless stalemate in their friendly at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Thursday night. Ninety minutes of football did not separate both sides to emulate their senior and club counterparts in recording draws. The host team for the 2017 edition of the biennial meet showed an encore of its 4-1 domination over the 2019 host in Malaysia in their last meeting by going on attack mode in the first half, but the latter held on defensively and even came close to nailing a goal just before halftime as Jarvy Gayoso went on a one-on-one with the keeper only that the goalie saved the ball out. The U22 Azkals then turned the tides in the restart, going aggressive to the goal as the U22 Malaysians began losing steam. The U22 Azkals came very close to a goal in the 62nd minute as Jeremiah Borlongan got a piece of the ball just as a Malaysian defender was letting his netminding teammate grab it and flicked it to a now wide open goal mouth. The defender cleared the ball out just before it went in. Despite the fatigue setting in, Malaysia kept the Azkals in check, leading to the deadlock at the final whistle. Still, Coach Marlon Maro expressed positive feedback for the U22 Azkals. "I am satisfied because I saw a lot of potential.... We have a team that plays aggressive football that can catch up with Malaysia in terms of speed and agility," said Maro, who fielded in a team with a majority of people also eligible for the 2019 SEA Games. On the other hand, Coach Frank Earnhardt lamented the lack of readiness for the said friendly that cost Malaysia a repeat of its dominance the last time out. "Our players were tired from the holidays when they were called up, so we only have few preparations," he rued.
The Philippines U22 Men’s Team will face the Malaysian U22 Team on 08 December 2016 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The game scheduled to kick off at 7:00PM is a friendly match in preparation for the 2017 SEA Games which will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 2017. Admission to the match is free.
Here is the line-up of the Philippines U22 Men’s Team.
BAUTISTA, Junell Mark – Benguet State University
BRICENCIO, Marvin Jake
BORLONGAN, Jeremiah – University of the Philippines
CHENG, Jaime Vicenzo – SD Raiders FC
CASAMBRE, Marco Alessandro – University of the Philippines / Global FC
CLARINO, Julian Mariano – University of the Philippines / Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
CRESTAL, Jimson – San Beda College
DE GUZMAN, Raphael Clifford – De La Salle University
DIAMANTE, Darius Joseph – De La Salle University
GADIA, Daniel Bernan – University of the Philippines / Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
GAYOSO, Javier Augustine – Ateneo de Manila University
GENCO, Lorenzo Giuseppe – Kaya FC
KOIZUMI, Yoshiharu – De La Salle University
LAGUERTA, Earl Real – De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde
LAPAS, Christian – University of the Philippines
LIMBO, Dimitri Lionel
RESUMA, Raphael Vincent – University of the Philippines
TALAROC, Richard Jr – Global FC
VALENZUELA, Patrick – National University
VILLANUEVA, Nathanael Ace – University of the Philippines / Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
The Coaching Staff is Headed by Marlon Maro who is assisted by Jose Maria Aberasturi, Marlon Pinero, and Noel Marcaida. The team will have its official practice today, 07 December 2016, 4:00PM at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
GLOBAL FC chairman Dan Stephen Palami announced that they are on the final stage of their negotiations to sign up high profile coach and legendary English defender Terry Butcher.
This is the first step of Global’s move to go big time as they prepare to enter the Philippine Football League (PFL) which is slated to start next year.
“My intention is to bring the attention of the football world by involving well known personalities at the club level,” Palami said.
Palami also confirmed that negotiation is also underway to move Global FC to Cebu where they will represent the province in the PFL.
“I am still in negotiations with Cebu Football Association president Ricky Dakay to make Cebu as our home city,” Palami added.
The early reports which have come out about Global’s move to Cebu have received positive feedbacks from the Cebu football community.
However, nothing has been signed yet but Palami, despite of the absence of a football stadium which could host the matches, has already started the formation of the club.
He has also assured Cebuano fans that the club they would form would have Cebuanos in their line-up.
“We will start sending our coaches to liaise with the youth coaches in Cebu. My intention is identifying elite youth players from Cebu as well as others who could form part of the club’s second team and reserves. It is also aimed to align the local players and coaches with the philosophy and style of the first team,” he said.
Butcher was even in Cebu to check the University of San Carlos stadium in Talamban. Global FC could make the USC stadium as its official home field. The stadium is still under construction and might be ready next year when the PFL opens.
Football fans best remember Terry Butcher as one of the five England defenders who tried to stop Diego Maradona from scoring the “Goal of the Century” during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
He could also be remembered as a bloody defender while playing for England in the vital World Cup qualifier in Sweden in 1989.
Butcher suffered a deep cut to his forehead early in the game but got sideline stitches from the physiotherapist and continued playing with a bandage forehead.
His bandage disintegrated and reopened the cut to the extent that his England white jersey turned into red at the end of the match.
To this date, he is best remembered for that match and that bloody image.
The grassroots development program of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) received its second award from the Asian Football Federation in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The PFF Kasibulan program, which is a project made in cooperation with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), received the President’s Recognition Award for Grassroots Football for Developing Nations.
The Philippines, together with Hong Kong and Vietnam are in the category for emerging football countries.
The Philippines won the same trophy when it hosted the same awards night in Manila in 2014.
“The award signifies that our grassroots program is one of the best in Asia and we must continue to make it grow in the country through new players and new stakeholders,” PFF grassroots department head Ake Pastoral told The Manila Times.
He added that he is pleased that the country’s program was once again recognized but reiterated that there is still room for improvement.
“To have been nominated and won twice means we are consistent with our programs. We just need the grassroots program to become self-sustaining. The PFF can only do so much as an institution we need more stakeholders and more volunteers in the local communities to run the grassroots programs,” he said.
Pastoral said that the recognition would serve as an extra motivation and challenge to take Kasibulan to a higher level of success.
He also emphasized the importance of partners and sponsors in the success of a grassroots development program especially in the remote provinces of the country.
“We are thankful for the support of PAGCOR, Japan Football Association, Smart Telecommunications and PHILAM, who have been our partners in the 2016 Kasibulan grassroots football development program,” Pastoral said.
Kasibulan’s 44 training sessions in 2016, conducted by 2,417 coaches trained by the federation, were attended by 13,745 youth participants.
Pastoral stressed that promoting football to the youth is the key to sustaining the progress of the sport.
“Grassroots is long term and must be seen in many parts of the country. We must be patient and continue the work with our grassroots players.”
He added that more support is needed to widen the reach of the Kasibulan program.
“We need more partners to support the program. Football needs more volunteers to work on the grassroots level, if we can be self-sustaining we can create a strong base for our national teams,” he concluded.
The Philippines U22 Men’s National Team is set to face their Malaysian counterparts in a friendly match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on 08 December 2016. FIFA and AFC has approved PFF’s application to host the match. The game will kick-off at 7:00PM. Admission is free.