PUFC Update 07-26-09
Well, all I can say is that at the moment, things are getting very exciting in England, as we are all preparing for our very own LONDON ASIAN CUP, involving our team Philippine United, and three other teams; Vietnam, China and Thailand.
The other teams are strong, as they have been playing together for quite some time, but we aim to give them a good run for their money. The highlight of the competition will be the arrival of our very own Mr.Mari Martinez, the P.F.F. President, who will be looking at our players for the future, and possibly some of them for the Philippine National team.
As you know I am the head coach, with Steve Conroy as my assistant, and Mr.Leo Jensen as our founder and director, and most other things too. If it was not for Leo, this project would have never got of the ground. He has been putting this together for a few years now, and only now are we all happy to say that it is looking very prosperous. Leo got the ball rolling by getting a group of players together that were Filipino born in England, or Filipinos that had come over with their parents, or work etc.
The one thing that Leo, Steve, Mari and myself had in mind, was that the Filipinos here in England, where this beautiful game originated, have that English passion for the game, which is inbred in every Englishmen, so hopefully we would get some talented players with this strategy in mind. No offence to the Filipinos who play basketball, but it’s hardly a substitute for football is it now, and let’s face the truth, basketball (for the moment) rules in the Philippines. Their passion is not for football, but with people like Leo Jensen, and a president who does have the English passion, then the future is looking good.
Already there are about 4 or 5 players from England in the squad for the national team, and you have to admit, the team have had much better results of late, so when Leo came along and mentioned getting a team together in England with Filipino players, then Mr. Martinez was in full approval of the project, and that is how I got involved, when Mr. Martinez asked me to meet with Leo, who lives very near me in Manchester, England. So we set up a meeting, and I was asked to be the head coach, and Steve, my assistant.
I’m happy to say that we get on great, and often share each others ideas. We started in January 2009 with 5 trials in London, because 99% of the players live there, so it was easier access for them to get to the practices. For Steve and me, it meant that we had a round trip for every practice of about 300 miles, which can take its toll, but we didn’t let that get in the way of our goal.
Over 60 players have participated up until now, and we now have the final 24 squad players. One of the players who contacted us was Rob Gier, but he was playing professional at the time so he couldn’t play for us, but Leo and myself let Mr. Martinez know about him, and was included for the games in the Maldives recently, and was one of the best players as I have been told by coach Aris, and other players. Rob found us out by the website, and he has been playing professionally in England for about 10 years now which makes me wonder, how many more Filipino players are out there.
Well you can all wish us luck in the competition coming up, but I will end my column, with some very, very exciting news for all you football fans. As you all know at the moment, the English Premier league is rated the best in the world, and obviously some of the best coaches in the world also. Mr.Martinez will be arriving this coming August, and will be meeting the head coaches from 8 English premier teams as follows:
Can you imagine the input for football in the Philippines will be after meeting with these teams? Hopefully we will discuss with them about taking some Filipino players into their academies, even some of the Filipino coaches spending time with the English coaches and in general just learning about all aspects of the game from them and developing Filipino football for the future.
This has to be the biggest story that has ever happened to Philippine football, so let’s just hope that full advantage is taken from this great opportunity.
On that note I will say bye bye for now and keep the faith all you football addicts, and lets face it, IS THERE REALLY ANYTHING ELSE WORTH TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!
Yours in sport,