Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fair Play: A nod to CFA's youth program

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's March 11 edition)
YOU have to excuse my friend Raffy Musni if he seems to be walking on a high lately. Not only did his son's team beat archrival Don Bosco Technological Center for the Cviraa crown impressively, 23 players of the Cebu elite teams were also called up for the national training squad.

And along the way, ever the jokester, he also gets to rib the DBTC parents who are part of the Cebu Football Association.

Raffy is in charge of the grassroots development of the CFA, while Engr. Rodney Orale, who was referred as an attorney by a lovely star-struck singer in one coaches meeting, is in charge of the referees' development.

Raffy's son plays for Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, while Rodney is with Don Bosco and Raffy told me the other day that while talking about the performance of the Cebu elite teams in the festival of football, he asked Rodney if he has gotten over the heartbreak of Don Bosco's 3-1 loss to Ateneo.

But it's not all fun and games with Raffy, especially when it comes to his babies--the Cebu elite teams.

Formed last February, the teams trained regularly at the San Roque football field and finally showed their worth in the Festival of Football in San Carlos City, where they not only impressed PFF technical director Aris Caslib and German consultant Thomas Roy but the other FAs as well.

"The other FAs are looking at us as a model," said Raffy, who himself represented Cebu in a similar tournament 22 years and 100 pounds ago.

First, it's the little things. The coaches were all in uniform, the players had playing and off-field uniforms, something the other FAs don’t. Then to the more important things,

Raffy said the Cebu elite teams—especially the girls—showed emphasis on play buildup and passing.

With 23 players selected this year, that’s hard act to follow for next year’s elite teams but the CFA is not about one-upping each other, unless of course, you’re talking about the heated DBTC vs. Ateneo parents rivalry—it’s about spreading football.

On the way to San Carlos City, the CFA also got help from Bogo City and Raffy said to pay back Mayor Celestino Martinez, they are looking at starting a football program in the Northern city.

And having an LGU-backed football program in Northern Cebu is another milestone for the CFA.

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