Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fair Play: Where to find Cebu's best footballers?

So, where does Cebu stand nationally in club football? Would you want to find out? I know I would.

I’d like to know if we’d gather Cebu best footballers in one club, let them face off with Manila’s best—the UFL even—could we match them?

In the age group, we surely could and then some, judging from the numerous Palarong Pambansa titles our elementary and high school teams have racked up.

But the men’s open, or, in this case, the club level?

Can we, for example, battle toe-to-toe with Dan Palami’s Global FC, which, I heard is now Global-San Miguel? Or could we face off with the Air Force Riders, or the retooled Kaya FC?

I would really love to find out.

So, the problem is, where to get Cebu’s best players?

There are some here, a few there, and others over there. There are some, too, that are affiliated with other Manila clubs, some who are back in school, some doing odd jobs, a year or two removed from peak form, or from national team form. Some, sadly, have to deal with the ticklish issue of a one-year ban from the local FA.

If we spot them, can Cebu gather all these players, put them under one club and field them to face off Manila’s best?


Now that is a question a few Guys will have to answer for the next few days.

By the way, if you’re thinking if a Cebu team will be joining the United Football League first division next season, don’t let your hopes up.

I can categorically say that that’s not it. For now. They’re taking baby steps and are not rushing things.

And besides, the UFL First Division isn’t the only competition in town, right?

Remember that group of Guys who were planning to put up a semi-pro Visayas League? Well, let’s just say some dude from Manila read about what I wrote, tweeted me he wanted to meet them, so I set up the meeting.

Let’s just call him Mr. A, and I sort of just expected him to tell us how they did it, how they started their league, how they had to beg everyone for money. (Tweeter users may add 2 and 2 and come up with 4, but I’m really poor with math. So your four may could be, from my reckoning, really five.)

Mr. A did explain some, but he also threw in a hard-to-refuse clincher, he said The Guys will be spending this much putting up a Visayas League, which Mr. A promised to support if they decide to push through with it, but if they field a team in their league, they’ll also be spending this much.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised since I thought Mr. A would be brainstorming with the group in setting up the league, but I was happy, too, that he, I, and The Guys basically had the same idea, an idea that has been pitched for months now.

It’s quite expensive, right?

Yep. It sure is. Mr. A surely acknowledged it. But the thing I liked about The Guys? They are more worried about whether they can really field Cebu’s best, rather than the expenses. Their concern of course, is about how Cebuano fans surely wouldn’t want to see their team get hammered in the tournament.

Some other clubs are loaded with Azkals, but what if that Cebu club can also get Leigh Gunn and Chad Gould, former Azkals who trace their roots in Cebu? What if that club can get the Cebuanos who are playing in the league right now?

Can you just imagine the following? Can you imagine, too, the pressure to deliver? Hence their concern of the club’s ability to field the best team possible.

And if they’d get to meet a Bacolod team, which is also joining? Can you imagine that often-talked-about rivalry getting played in that stage?

And if they do well in that tournament? Who knows? The UFL might even get them a ticket to the second division, or even first division.

So, where does Cebu football stand in the national club level?

I’d love to find out.

But before we get to that, I know some guys who, right now, should be busy finding out where Cebu’s best footballers are.

It’s a bit of a rush—only because these two groups didn’t meet two months ago—but guys like them don’t get to where they are by not taking a gamble or two.

So, if you know where to find Cebu’s best footballers…I’ll give you a line to The Guys.

Now as to Mr. A, let’s just say he’ll probably be busy, too, in the next few days because he told a few of his players not to attend this certain team’s practice and the coach wasn’t happy. In fact, one national daily wrote about how the coach is warning the players on their absences.

Interesting, right? What’s even more interesting? Mr. A also said that next season, the champion in their league would be joining the AFC Presidents Cup.


Anonymous said...

There are a lot of good players here in cebu. Most of them are not active. They work in different fields. Question, will they sacrifice their profession to be in shape and play tough games in UFL? They need to be fit again and it takes time.

Anonymous said...

Tell Mr.A to let his players who are with the national team attend in practice. Football in the philippines is getting popular because of the azkals and now this so called Mr. A is telling his players not to practice with the national squad? What the f#$% is wrong with this guy?