Thursday, August 07, 2014

Fair Play: Should PFF give in to ultimatums?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Aug. 7 edition)
I WON’T play if Coach Dooley is still in charge.

If that came from any of the players based here, he’d be pilloried no end. Ostracized for thinking he’s bigger than the team.

But this came from Stephen Schrock, one of the more respected and high-profile members of the team. Denis Cagara said it too.

The two guys are essentially saying, if you still want us, get him out.

During one conversation a few weeks before the Challenge Cup, I and another columnist met Dan Palami and coach Dooley. We got to talk about Schrock and it was pointed out that in one game, there were moments that Schrock sometimes, tried too hard to do it all, his way.

Dan said, “It was because he’s always been given the license to do, it’s a matter of letting him adapt to the new system.”

With Schrock’s latest statement, does that mean there’s no chance of that happening?

Schrock is Schrock. He’s gifted, at his best, he can change the game. And there’s no doubt that he’d give his all for the flag.

And what has Dooley done? What has he achieved?

Well, for starters, he made us believe that given the chance, the local boys can shine. Isn’t that something that we longed for in the three years under Michael Weiss?

Patrick Deyto, Daisuke Sato and Amani Aguinaldo? And who else got their big breaks?

Come to think of it, what Coach Dooley and the team has done in the Challenge Cup made us believe that winning the Suzuki Cup wasn’t a farfetched dream.

“I won’t play if Coach Dooley is still in charge.”

It’s interesting that this statement came from those who spent the shortest time with the coach among the players. But since it’s crunch time and it’s just three months away from the Suzuki Cup, here’s an interesting question for you:

Who do we need more now? Schrock, Cagara or Dooley?

Because right now we can’t afford to ditch a coach and pray the two disgruntled players would reconsider and see action for the flag anew under a coach of their choosing. That’s like the PFF giving the players the keys to the office, cars, and coffers.

I hope the two reconsider their decision, but if not, well, as Cebuanos love to say, “Pulihi na’g mga batan-un.”

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