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Negros Occidental Football Association reps PH in 2019 Soong Ching Ling Cup in China

Shared article by Negros Occidental Football Association

Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) is representing the Philippines at the 2019 Soong Ching Ling Cup China-ASEAN Youth Football Friendly Matches to be held in Hangzhou, China, from August 1 to 8, 2019.

Head coach Noel de Oca leads a 20-member delegation composed of five mentors and 15 players (aged 12 years old and younger) that comprise Team NOFA-Philippines. Participation in the tournament is endorsed by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).

The Soong Ching Ling Cup is an annual Under-13 eight-a-side football tournament hosted by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, the Chinese Football Federation and the ASEAN-China Center, to promote friendship and understanding between China and ASEAN countries.

Team NOFA-Philippines is included in Group A with China, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos. Group B comprises Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia.

This year marks the third time that NOFA-Philippines is taking part in the prestigious ASEAN youth football tourney with the squad eyeing to top their fourth place finish last year when they beat China in the elimination round, 3-0, but lost to the hosts to end up in third.

NOFA President Mr. Ricky Yanson has high hopes for his squad.

“Team NOFA-Philippines has always looked forward to joining the Soong Ching Ling Cup since our first time in 2017…. Being a China-ASEAN football tournament, we get to have a glimpse of the level football for Under 13 in these countries.”

He also said that the experience that the NOFA mentors gain from the SCL Cup also contributes to the improvement of NOFA activities.

“Opportunities for interaction with other coaches and organizers can also bring about ideas essential to our own grassroots development program.”

The NOFA-Philippines players are standouts from the recently concluded NOFA Cup 2019 that was held last summer in Bacolod. These boys who come from different parts of the Philippines— Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete and Manila — are ready to face their ASEAN counterparts.

“They will be traveling to China after weeks of training camp that included tune-up games against older age groups and participation in out-of-town football festivals… With the help of the boys’ parents and their respective schools, we were able to come up with training arrangements best suited for the team,” said Mr. Yanson.

Team NOFA-Philippines will have their first game against Malaysia on August 3; to be followed by a match against China on the same day, and against Singapore on August 4. Their last game in the elimination round is on August 5 versus Laos.

For updates, visit the Negros Occidental Football Association page on Facebook.

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Nomads begin journey back to senior-level football with PFF Women’s League

After a few years of absence in seniors 11-a-side football, Manila Nomads Sporting Club are set for a return to an all familiar environment as they debut in the 2019 Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Women’s League.

Around the past three years, Nomads focused mainly in continuing the development of their youth squads, competing in grassroots and junior-levels for both boys’ and girls’ divisions, maintaining their good reputation as one of the clubs that cultivate young talents.

A testament to their excellence in the youth development is their four-straight championships earned in the girls’ division of the Youth Football League (YFL).

But as of early 2019, they began their foray into the senior level when they fielded a squad for the women’s division of the 7s Football League’s third season where they reached the semifinals stage.

Now in the second half of year 2019, Nomads are finally continuing their push in competing at the highest levels of competitions available as they participate as one of the newcomers in the Women’s League which begins on July 25.

But this is only the beginning, according to Nomads Women’s Team Head Coach Shane Cosgrove, with the club intending to do the same as well for the men’s side.

“We’re trying to get the (men’s team) going in the Philam 7s (Football League). So we decided to go with the seven-a-side to start with,… and build. I just got to find somebody who wants to take it over and run it.

“Obviously, I think people knew about the land dispute, and obviously we lost the (Merville Parañaque) ground. So, we became a little bit disparate (as an organization)… we had cricket and we had rugby going on down there as well.”

Shane Cosgrove – Nomads women’s and girls’ head coach (Photo credit: YFL)

The British mentor also gave a brief update on the situations of the Nomads cricket and rugby teams in which both already were able to get their respective playing grounds in Pavillion (cricket), and the British School in Manila and a facility nearby South Super Highway (rugby).

“(In football), we kept the junior elements going. We’re sort of split into two a little bit because I carried on with the girls. But I couldn’t get down to Merville (for the boys) because of (other commitments). So we operated with the girls (having their) training on the British School.

“The academy has carried on. They’ve (been able) to come back to the old Nomads ground as Club United (and that’s been) successful… Obviously we’ve kept these (squads) going and they’ve gone all the way through.

“For me, (competing at the high level) is the final challenge to see how (our men’s team) would do,” added Cosgrove.

Founded in 1914 as a football club, the multi-sport organization with rugby and cricket as some of the other sporting disciplines that it offers from grassroots to semiprofessional senior levels, is the Philippines’ oldest club that has been in continuous existence.

However, a years-long legal battle regarding the land in Merville Parañaque which is known as the Nomads SC grounds, where the club’s facilities are situated, hurt its overall resources to the point of threatening its very existence. Such a predicament led to some of their senior teams take a back-seat from competing in high-level tournaments for the past few years.

But with Nomads now set for its maiden PFF Women’s League journey, the club begins its campaign on Saturday, August 3, at 8:00AM against the defending champions De La Salle University.

Photo credit: Pinay Futbol Facebook Page

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All systems go for PFF Women’s League 2019 season

The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) continues in its commitment to develop women’s football in the country with the third season of the PFF Women’s League that is set to begin this Saturday, July 27, 2019.

During a pre-tournament media presser held in the PFF House of Football in Pasig City on midday of Thursday, July 25, the 2019 season was confirmed with 10 teams vying to win the title and unseat the defending champions De La Salle University (DLSU).

Represented teams during the event were Stallion Hiraya FC, DLSU, Tuloy FC, Far Eastern University (FEU) and Youth Football League champions Nomads FC which will debut this 2019 edition.

Other participating squads are University of the Philippines (UP), University of Santo Tomas (UST), and Green Archers United which have been a part of the previous edition while Maroons FC and Tigers FC join Nomads as debutants this year.

The tournament will feature a two round-robin league format in which the the team that garners the most points in the standings will be crowned as champion.

“(The champion will receive) gold medals and a trophy,” said PFF Secretary General, Attorney Edwin Gastanes, in an interview.

“Depending on our resources at the end of the tournament, we’ll see if we can give cash prizes to the first placers of the league.”

The venues that will host the the league are the PFF Training Center in Carmona, DLSU Canlubang, Ateneo de Manila and UP-Diliman.

The PFF Women’s League is organized by the Philippine Football Federation with the help of FIFA.

Follow the Philippine Football Federation and the PFF Women’s League Facebook Page for further details and updates on the 2019 season.

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Quincy Kammeraad eager to earn SEA Games spot with Azkals U-23 callup

Not getting a callup for the AFF U-22 Championship earlier this year turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Filipino international goalkeeper Quincy Kammeraad as he shares his pride and excitement after receiving an invite for the Under-23 national team training camp this August in preparation for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Formerly with Global FC at one point in his career as one of the club’s most promising goalkeeping prospects, 18-year-old Quincy is currently playing in Amsterdam’s AVV Zeeburgia’s U19 squad in the Netherlands, and is looking forward to join the initial pool in preparation for the SEA Games, which will be hosted in Manila later this year.

“It’s the biggest tournament for the U-23,” admitted the young sentry in an online interview last Monday night, July 22.

“The whole country, the Philippines, is (going to) watch it. So we have to give the Filipino community some results.”

From the time that the invite has been received direct from none other than Azkals Team Manager Mr. Dan Palami last week, young Kammeraad has felt a sense of pride for another opportunity to represent the Philippines’ colors in an important competition.

“You have to be proud to receive a callup from your country. It’s a different feeling from playing for your club or league games.”

“Playing for the country is different. Every game is different. The feeling is amazing! You hear the anthem play before the game.”

Training of the national squad is set to begin on August 13 which will run until August 29. However, due to some academic commitments back in the Netherlands, Quincy will be leaving three days earlier.

Ready for the challenges

Despite being given the chance to suit up for the Philippines, the Amsterdam-based keeper fully knows that it is just the first step, that bigger hurdles lie ahead, and that he needs to pour out the best of his abilities to secure a place in the final squad that will compete in the SEA Games proper.

“I think at the age of 18, it’s really tough because I’m still a youngster. Same as two years ago in the U-19, when I was 16. I have to earn the respect (of my teammates) because I’m one to two years younger than the rest of the guys, even three! So I have to work four or five times harder (as compared to) the other guys.”

Quincy also shared that the fact that he is currently building his footballing career and receiving his training in Europe makes the weight of expectations and responsibility from the team, especially as a goalkeeper, even greater.

“That’s how it is (when it comes to expectations). I know what they ask from me and I will do anything for the country.”

Currently in the midst of the preseason preparation for his Amsterdam-based club, his current training regimen could benefit him come the U-23 training sessions next month here in Manila.

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Now standing at 1.85 meters (around 6’1″) Quincy Kammeraad is no stranger to the Philippine National Football Team setup with the 2018 AFF U-18 campaign being his most recent tournament where he was part of the squad. His eligibility to represent the Philippines lies with his mother, Cathy, who hails from Cebu.

The football tournament of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which will be held within and the outskirts of Metro Manila, is believed to kick-off sometime in December which will be competed by U-23 teams of participating Southeast Asian nations.

Photo credit: Quincy Kammeraad|Facebook

Patrick Reichelt Melaka United

Reichelt scores 10 goals for Melaka Utd; banners Azkals talent in Malaysia

Patrick Reichelt concluded his first season with Malaysia Super League club Melaka United last weekend with a successful individual performance with a double-figure haul of goals.

The 31-year-old Azkals winger’s move to neighboring Malaysia in late January after a significant and successful spell with Philippine domestic league champions Ceres-Negros proved to be a hit for the Malacca-based outfit as he scored a total of 10 goals in 22 matches for a rate of 0.45 goals per game.

The output produced in front of goal is enough for the Filipino international to be the leading scorer for his club and to be considered as one of the most effective forwards in the league putting him at fourth in the top scorers’ table.

Reichelt’s efforts proved to be crucial as well in helping his club finish in mid-table at sixth out of the 12-team competition in a tightly contested season that saw teams from third to sixth separated by no more than four points in the standings.

Another important footnote in this campaign is this is the first time that the pacy Akzal has played in every match without experiencing any health-related mishaps, something that the player has highlighted in his social media post.

Now that the league campaign has been wrapped up, Melaka United are now gearing for the 2019 edition of Malaysia Cup where they will vie for the trophy against 15 other clubs.

The draw for the 2019 Malaysia Cup matchups, and possibly the release of fixture dates, will be held on Tuesday (July 23).

Photo credit: Melaka United SA

Mendiola FC gets boost with addition of international players

Mendiola FC 1991 are about to get a significant dose of help in the remainder of the 2019 PFL season as they secure the services of international talents.

Argentine midfielder Ricardo Sendra, and Cameroonian defender Souleyman Ndepe bolster the squad from the backline up.

29-year-old “Ricki” Sendra, who had tenure with Singaporean club Geylang international and has been training with the squad since the early part of the season, has his international transfer certificate (ITC) clearance confirmed last July 19, while Ndepe joined in as a mid-season transfer acquisition also on the same date.

Meanwhile, Ivorian goalkeeper Dini Ouattara is just waiting for clearance from his home federation, the FIF (Fédération Ivoirienne de Football) and FIFA’s green light as of last night, according to club source.

If Ouattara gets the clearance to play this afternoon, he could provide the necessary depth to the goalkeeping position which the club currently has a shortage in.

A few hours before this writing, all three were on the way to Mendiola FC’s match against Stallion Laguna this afternoon and is a possibility that Ouattara may be available to step on the pitch as well.

Currently standing in fifth place out of the seven-team PFL, Mendiola only has one win and one draw, with four losses as they try to pull off a massive turn of results their remaining match-days for a chance to significantly improve their maiden top-flight season’s record.

Mendiola FC 1991’s match against Stallion Laguna at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona kicks off later at 3:30 PM.

Photo credit: Mendiola FC 1991/SG Morales

Former Kaya striker Robert Mendy joins Ceres-Negros

After a stint with UiTM FC in Malaysia Premier League, Robert Lopez Mendy joins Philippines Football League defending champions Ceres-Negros FC.

The signing was completed on July 19, according to Ceres-Negros Head Coach Risto Vidakovic.

The 32-year-old Senegalese forward had been a lethal finisher for his former Filipino club Kaya FC Iloilo, but after a contrasting tenure in front of goal in Malaysia, he gets another opportunity to regain his old scoring ways for Ceres-Negros under Coach Risto.

His 43 goals in 43 appearances for Kaya speak volumes in the Philippine pro football setting as he helped the club win the inaugural Copa Paulino Alcantara and secure an AFC Cup qualification slot, something that his new team would be looking forward from him.

Before that glorious tenure with Kaya, Mendy was with Green Archers United where he made a name as an effective attacking player in what was then known as the United Football League.

As for Ceres-Negros, the club’s reinforcement does not end in their swoop for Mendy as they looked into their young talents this time, promoting two Ceres Youth players Charles Ivan Barberan of Bukidnon and Tristan Kit Robles of Iloilo City to the senior squad for the rest of the domestic campaign.

Ceres Negros will see action in the PFL 2019 season tomorrow, Sunday (July 21), against Green Archers United which will be held in The PFF National Training Center in Carmona. Match will be streamed live via pfltv.ph.

Photo credit: Kaya FC Iloilo

Azkals veteran Angel Guirado signs for Chonburi FC

After a stint with Malaysian club Negeri Sembilan, Filipino forward Angel Guirado completed a move to Thai League 1 club Chonburi FC in the midseason transfer window.

34-year-old Guirado’s deal was confirmed late Friday, July 19, which will serve as a frontline reinforcement for the remainder of the domestic season in Thailand and where he will join compatriot Curt Dizon.

A journeyman with an extensive list of tenures with different clubs from different parts of the globe, his experience will serve to be one of his best contributions to the club which is aiming to improve on their current mid-table position.

Before his stint with Negeri Sembilan, he was with Filipino club Davao Aguilas which last competed in the 2018 season of the Philippines Football League.

Guirado also has been with the Philippine National Football Team’s senior squad, The Azkals, where he was able to score nine goals in 34 appearances.

Chonburi FC is schedule to play a match tonight, July 20, against Suphanburi FC. Kickoff is at 8:00PM (9:00PM Philippine Time).

Photo credit: Thai League

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Thai club Chonburi confirms acquisition of Azkals forward Curt Dizon

Top Filipino football talents’ moves to Thai League 1 continue with Curt Dizon’s transfer to Chonburi FC from Ceres-Negros being the latest development.

The deal was completed and confirmed as of July 17 via official sources making Dizon the fifth player from the same Filipino club to make the jump to the Southeast Asian neighbor along with Kevin Ingreso, Alvaro Silva, and Martin Steuble.

With Chonburi, under manager Sasom Pobprasert, currently in mid-table at ninth place in the on-going League 1, the club will expect 25-year-old Dizon to provide the necessary impetus with the hopes of further improving their place in the table and avoid a possible relegation battle in what seems to be a tightly contested season.

Curt Dizon is a pacy forward-winger who operates on the left with Ceres and has the capability to either create chances for his teammates or score goals. His strengths lie mainly in his pace and dribbling ability – tools that could help him succeed in his new club.

Aside from a successful tenure with Ceres-Negros, where he helped the club win the 2018 domestic league, Curt also played for Philippine-based clubs Global FC and FC Meralco Manila.

Dizon also has been a regular mainstay in the Azkals squad amassing 16 competitive appearances for his country including the AFF Suzuki Cup and the historic 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaigns.

Dizon and Chonburi are scheduled to face up against Suphanburi which has fellow Azkals Alvaro Silva and Patrick Deyto on Saturday, July 20, at 9:00PM local time (10:00PM Philippine Standard Time).

Photo credit: Chonburi FC Facebook page

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Azkals’ long road to Qatar World Cup 2022 qualification set

The Philippine National Football team is set to face powerhouse teams Syria and China as its initial path to World Cup qualification has finally been determined after the draw for the second round of the Asian Football Confederation [AFC] qualifiers has been concluded this Wednesday, July 17, at the AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Drawn in Group A with Maldives and Guam along with the aforementioned Asian footballing giants, the Philippines first phase of the journey to the pinnacle of international football competition which will be held in Qatar has been laid out. It will also serve as the springboard for the Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers which will be held in China.

Meanwhile it is an important footnote that Group G turned out to be an ASEAN ‘Group of Death’ with the regions powerhouses such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia finding themselves altogether with continental powerhouse UAE as the only outsider.

The first match of Group A is set to begin on September 5, 2019.

Photo credit: PFF