Malaya FC can consider 2019 a fruitful year considering the Youth Football League (YFL) season 3’s conclusion, by winning the championship in four of seven age divisions in the country’s premier youth league.
In finals matches played over four weekends, Malaya FC emerged as champions in the under-11, under-15, under-17, and under-19 categories; and 2nd runners-up in the under-13 age group.
“Malaya really dominated the YFL this season,” said Joseph Gensaya, YFL technical head as he awarded the YFL championship for the fourth time to a Malaya FC squad last December 8 at the Circulo Verde pitch in Quezon City.
Malaya FC U17 were the latest to bag the YFL championship, after fashioning a 4–2 win against Mendiola FC. The Golden Glove award went to Malaya keeper Lance Jeter Bencio; Most Valuable Player award went to striker Carlos Maniscan.
The day before, Malaya FC U15 comprehensively beat Kaya FC Elite 5–0 to win their division convincingly. Malaya keeper Gabriel Anthony Cadisal was given the Golden Glove award, while defender Mark Maghinay Palallos was named MVP.
In the U11 category, Malaya FC triumphed 3 – 1 against Kaya FC Yellow to bag the championship, capping an undefeated run throughout the four-month tournament. Malaya keeper Kyle Castillo was awarded Golden Glove honors; midfielder Kenneth Dela Cruz was named MVP.
Leading the way for the younger teams by winning the first championship of the YFL season were Malaya FC U19 with a 4–2 mastery of Mendiola FC. The Golden Glove award went to keeper Kristian Harald Bumatay, while MVP award went to striker Kieth Absalon who suited up as defender in their last two matches.
En route to winning their YFL titles, the Malaya FC teams also picked up podium finishes at the Borneo Cup 2019 held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: U17 were first runners-up, while U15 and U11 were 2nd runners-up in the AFC Tier 3 tournament.
William Gueridonn for U17, Yves Blanc for U15, Jovert Ayuban and Jake Morallo for U11, and Marvin Dava for U19 were the coaches of the winning Malaya teams, with Roland Sadia as goalkeeping coach.
“It’s been a banner year for Malaya FC, with the teams posting their best finish yet in both the YFL and Borneo Cup,” said Malaya FC secretary-general Mark Duane Angos. “The players in these teams have been training and playing together for at least 2 years – with some in U17 playing together for about 6 years now – and it shows in the results.”
However, Angos said there were also some eye-openers this year for Malaya FC.
“One is the need to level up our skills to be able to compete in higher-tiered tournaments in the region. While we have done well at the Borneo Cup, we’re aware that we need to raise our game in order to be competitive in ASEAN youth football,” he said. “That’s what we’re aiming for and focusing on this coming year.”
Malaya Football is a non-profit organization dedicated to using the sport of football for community development. The club gives children from underserved communities the chance to learn and play football through free regular and continuous training, and participation in highly competitive leagues such as the YFL as well as local and international tournaments.
Malaya FC is a founding member of the YFL and a member of the Cavite Football Association (CAFA).
Our Lady of Assumption College (OLAC) scraped past Malayan Team B after getting a slim 2-1 penalty shootout result in an odd final that ended 1-1 after regulation last November 16, 2019 at the Aboitiz Pitch in The Outlets at Lipa, Batangas.
OLAC’s lads were bound to already seize the cup, enjoying a 1-0 lead just a few seconds before the final whistle, when a Malayan Team B player fell injured near the OLAC box.
A Malayan player tried to kick the ball out of play, but an odd deflection on the pitch sent it high in the opposite direction. The deceiving trajectory of the ball ended up bizarrely beating the OLAC goalkeeper and into the back of the net for an unlikely equalizer and an interestingly surprising resolution that required penalties.
An epic, though unexpected, comeback wasn’t meant to be though for Malayan as OLAC emerged victorious, and deservingly so, after the shootout ended 2-1.
The tournament began with the participating teams being divided into two groups, with the top four from each group advancing into the quarterfinals.
Malayan Colleges stood out in the elimination round with Malayan Team B topping Group A with three wins and two draws. Meanwhile, Malayan Team A won three games and lost only one to secure second place standing in Group B, second only to eventual winners OLAC Football Team on goal difference.
Faith Colleges, Boracay Beach Boys FC and Paha Youth FC all qualified from Group A after winning two games each. In Group B, aside from OLAC Football Team and Malayan Team B, Tanauan FC and De La Salle Lipa also made it into the quarters.
In the quarterfinals, OLAC Football Team and Malayan Colleges Team B both dominated with 4-0 victories against Paha Youth FC and Boracay Beach Boys FC respectively while De La Salle Lipa took out Malayan Team A with a narrow 1-0 victory. Tanauan FC took the final slot in the semis by defeating Faith Colleges, 2-0.
In the semi-finals, Malayan Team B quickly dispatched De La Salle Lipa and booked a seat in the final match off a 2-0 win while OLAC had to fight harder, as they were forced to go to a penalty shoot-out against Tanauan FC after a goalless draw. OLAC eventually made it to the final match with a 4-3 win on penalties setting up the aforementioned showdown that ended up, interestingly, in an unexpectedly nail-biting fashion.
Boys Under 19 Top 4:
Champion: Our Lady of Assumption College (OLAC) Football Team
1st Runner-up: Malayan Colleges Team B
2nd Runner-up: Tanauan FC
3rd Runner-up: De La Salle Lipa
Category MVP: Miguel Arias (Malayan Colleges B #9)
Finals MVP: Michael Neri (OLAC Football Team #15)
The next festival day will be held on November 23, 2019 and will feature the Boys Under 13 category (born 2006 or after).
The AboitizLand Football Cup will be held Saturdays and Sundays until mid-December. For more information about registration details and the full schedule, visit the Aboitiz Football Cup’s official Facebook page.
Group A top performers NCR FA and NOFA delivered the goods producing an edge-of-your-seat six-goal thriller that concluded in a draw in a match that served as a possible final preview in the 2019 PFF U15 Boys National Championship held in PFF Training Center in Carmona last November 17.
The tie precariously hung in the balance in the early proceedings as the tie showed signs of a goal-fest.
An expected breakthrough did arrive in favor of NCR FA as Jian Caraig buried his chance in the 35th minute to give his side the advantage.
But Negros Occidental pulled off a stunning response, converting two goals in a span of four minutes with Corban Miraflor scoring in the 40th minute followed by a successful Byron Abela effort to turn the tide in favor of the Western Visayans heading into the break.
Just within two minutes after the restart, NCR equalized courtesy of Dominic Tom. But the boys from the capital region were not yet done as, soon enough, Ivan Nocida got a precious go-ahead goal in the 49th minute.
With NCR enjoying a slim lead, the lads of NOFA searched for an all-important equalizer. It took them some time and nervy moments but the goal did arrive in the 80th minute with Syreal Magbanua coming up big to deny their rivals the full three points as the tie ended in a 3-3 draw.
The result puts both teams tied neck-and-neck at 7 points in the standings, with NCR FA on top due to a slightly superior goal difference.
In the other match, Laguna FA continued to carve out another positive result after beating Federated FA of Masbate by a 1-4 scoreline.
The next match-day is scheduled on November 19 with Laguna FA going up against group leaders NCR FA while Negros Occidental FA (NOFA) are set to clash with Cordillera RFA.
Regarding Group B, which is made up of teams from Visayas and Mindanao, it has been decided not to push through with the tournament indefinitely due to the recent earthquake in Mindanao.
After achieving emphatic starts to the National Championship, NCR FA and Negros Occidental FA continue in their respective locomotive show of force as they rack up double-digit wins over their respective rivals in Group A of the PFF U15 Boys National Championship last November 15 in PFF Training Center Carmona, Cavite.
Negros Occidental FA (NOFA) registered a dozen of goals against Federated FA of Masbate (FFAM) for a severely lopsided 12-0 result during the morning kickoff that began around 8:00 AM.
Van Catungay, Dominic Dreyfus and Jefferson Tolimao each scored a brace to top-score for their federation with another six of their players chipping in a goal each to complete a rout against the Masbateños.
The first half ended with the Western Visayans getting four goals for an already comfortable lead into the break. But NOFA did not let off the gas pedal after the restart as they converted seven more chances, aided by a sending off by a Masbate player, to send a statement heading into their match against fellow favorites, NCR FA.
NCR FA also were all-business as they dispatched Cordillera RFA (CRFA) with a baker’s dozen in the following match that kicked off at 10:00AM.
Jian Caraig scored a hat-trick to lead NCR while Dominic Tom, Umi Abelarde, and Scott McKenzie each scored a brace in a fixture that has been put beyond any doubt as early as the first half.
The first 45 minutes ended with NCR enjoying a 0-5 lead. But the capital-based squad were even more ruthless in the second half by adding eight more goals to complete a 0-13 dismantling of their opponents.
The day’s results put NCR FA and NOFA as the clear and undisputed leaders of Group A of the National Championship which perfectly sets up an interesting match between these highly in-form squads for the sole leadership of the standings on November 17, 2019 at 8:00AM.
National Capital Region (NCR) FA registered a lopsided win in Group A action during the opening day of Philippine Football Federation (PFF) U15 Boys National Championship 2019 held last November 11 at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
NCR gave a stellar overall performance scoring in double-figures to post a one-sided 11-0 result in their opener against Federated FA of Masbate (FFAM), with Matthias Lozano scoring a hat-trick and Scott Mackenzi registering a brace as both led NCR in the goalscoring department.
Top scorer Matthias Lozano showed such high-level of form during his shift, providing more than enough damage already that he was substituted out just five minutes after the hour mark.
In the other match, Laguna romped to a 4-0 start to the championship with Louis Angelo Junio producing an inspired performance with two conversions to lead his team against Cordillera RFA.
The Southern Tagalogs got to a dream start with Junio getting the breakthrough in just the eighth minute. Roenz Bicua then doubled the lead seven minutes after the half-hour mark as Laguna ended the first half with a two-goal cushion.
In the second half, quick back-to-back goals from Vincent Saludo and Junio just a few moments past the hour mark, sealed the deal for Laguna FA as they secured a convincing result to begin their Championship campaign.
But come their second assignment that has just been recently concluded this November 13, Laguna suffered their first loss against Negros Occidental FA (NOFA), as they succumbed to a 0-2 defeat.
An early dagger inflicted by Mark Gabriel Cantos within the first minute of the match, followed by a late jugular from John Andrei Roldan in added time proved to be enough as the Western Visayans were able to get a perfect start to their campaign.
FFA Masbate meanwhile saw themselves still very much in the competition, getting a lifeline after they were able to crucially bounce back from the previous setback they suffered against NCR by dismantling Cordillera RFA with a 3-1 win on November 13.
Kervin Tacdoy seemed to have put his Northern Luzon-based squad in a very promising situation when he converted a chance in the 32nd minute, but a second-half fightback from the Masbateños proved to be enough as Carl James Zaragoza registered back-to-back goals in the 47th and 53rd minutes respectively, before Gian Francisco put any doubts to rest with an 85th minute icing on the cake.
The PFF National Championship will continue until November 19. The rest of the fixtures are below:
The National Championship is contested by the best teams which already progressed from the grinding Regional Group Stage that transpired from late June to late September this year.
With a big global brand expected to back the country’s professional football league in the next three years, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta vowed to come up with more programs that will benefit age-group players in the future.
Araneta said the impending sponsorship of Qatar Airways to the Philippines Football League will allow the PFF to allot funds for a national Under-17 tournament starting next year.
“We want to start the Under-17 tournament next year,” he said, noting that the PFF had also begun holding a national Under-15 tournament this year that is now in its final stages.
“We really have a lot of football activities coming in and I want to see that this is being implemented properly. We are not neglecting players in the age-group level. In fact, we have been revitalizing our grassroots program to find more homegrown talents in the country.”
On top of the national Under-17 tournament, Araneta said the PFF will also hold Under-16 and Under-18 regional tournament for girls as part of its thrust to develop women’s football. The PFF chief hopes these tournaments will lead to improved performances for the age-group teams in international tournaments.
Araneta is hopeful the entry of Qatar Airways will trigger more support from local companies to football.
“Qatar Airways is a global brand and hopefully we have local brands that will join the sponsorship,” said Araneta.
“There are still a lot of ways to improve the league. The sponsorship really allows the federation And aside from that, some money will go into the federation where in we can spend also the league for other programs.”
Football for Humanity Foundation continues to sustain its grassroots initiatives as they now embark on a route that include stops in key cities within the Visayas and Mindanao with their “Vision Beyond Borders” project.
The activity is a major undertaking that aims to share knowledge to Filipino football coaches at the grassroots and youth levels on the European approach, particularly the English method, in how football is taught to children.
This set of sessions is currently on-going and will happen in different key cities across the nation which began in Vermosa in Cavite that concluded last November 7, and is now taking an inter-island southward route until its final stop in Davao within a month’s time.
Giving importance to grassroots training
Football Humanity once again has just brought National Youth Football Association (NYFA) Sweden founder, Owen Southgate, for another series of training sessions (which is currently on-going as of this writing) for grassroots coaches.
A UEFA B licensed coach, Owen shares his expertise to his Filipino counterparts on the latest techniques when it comes to mentoring young footballer particularly focusing on the holistic approach that transcends not just on the pitch but also including the overall well-being of the players that very much translates to their performances on the pitch and their outlooks in life off it.
Speaking to 5th Minute of Added Time in an interview, Coach Owen shared the overall concept and approach of NYFA when it comes grassroots development of young players.
“The whole concept of NYFA is fundamentally developed to try and present young people the chance to take control of their own organization.
When you see the word youth involved in any sport it’s ultimately the most important word. But it’s actually adults who take control of that scenario,” stated Southgate who is also an English FA Tutor.
Changing the coaching construct: All about the children
Owen Southgate further added that there needs to be a paradigm shift in terms of approach when it comes to coaching youngsters.
“Educating coaches like this, the emphasis is to try and focus coaches’ attention to the fact that coaches aren’t necessarily needed for quality action within the sport, children are brilliant at it already. They are born expert learners.”
The mentor further added that major problems that grassroots have is due to the creation of agenda-ed bubble, where children’s potential are limited because of the belief that the right way of learning is to follow the adult pathway – a pathway that is often driven by grown-ups’ own agenda and personal gain.
“It’s not our right as adults to take control of the scenario in which they can actually exploit children in that process. That’s why we (NYFA Sweden) exist, that’s why we persist, (and) that’s why Football for Humanity exists because it is for extending opportunities for people who actually have no opportunity at the moment, but can have if they actually take control of their circumstances,” Owen Southgate further emphasised.
“…It’s just a question of trust (when it comes to coaching youngsters). We’re educating coaches to understand that that if you trust your children and let them play, all the outcomes are going to be there. As a coach you only need to see the details (in their development) in order to be able to add the layers or support the process as it goes, not to take control of it.”
A nationwide caravan
This month’s Vision Beyond Borders sessions for coaches is a continuation of the program previously held in Davao. This time though is a much bigger undertaking as Vermosa serves only as the first stop in a nationwide tour in major key cities.
Football for Humanity founder Chris Thomas shared the next stops of the grassroots coaches’ training which will be in San Carlos, Iligan, Marawi and again Davao. The whole set of activities will last for about a month.
As of this writing, the third day of training sessions in San Carlos have just concluded as thee team is now setting its sights for the next stop: Iligan.
“There are some places in between that we’ll be going to (which we cannot divulge as of yet),” Chris Thomas clarified.
A major boost in support
Due to the previous projects and initiatives of Football for Humanity that have come into fruition, despite starting with relatively modest resources, the organisation is already steadily getting the attention of potential partners and sponsors.
The latest development in this aspect is the possibility of a collaborative effort with the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines being in the pipeline.
This is just the newest possible addition to the already forged partnerships with several other entities such as Expo 2020 Dubai, Global Goals, One World Play, Library Renewal Partnership, and Waves for Water.
Tackling a bigger issue, armed with the beautiful game
Along with the on-going Vision Beyond Borders initiative, Football for Humanity has just furthered its thrust towards fighting violent extremism and juvenile delinquency, particularly in Marawi City which has recently been a conflict area in Mindanao.
Football for Humanity aims to use sports as a tool to counter violence and delinquency through sports, particularly football, as it continues to follow through in its past efforts in helping Marawi City, particularly the children, get back to its feet by instilling a sense of hope through football.
Back to grassroots football: It’s potential in the Philippines
Returning to the initial discussion on grassroots football, Coach Owen Southgate shared his thoughts when asked about its potential in the Philippines, to which he replied:
“There is a huge amount of potential within the Filipino platform. The reason being is at the moment it is relatively untouched by those masked agendas…
“If you look at the complexities of the western culture and football in particular, the Philippines doesn’t have that kind of infrastructure (yet). So, it actually gives the Filipino platform a chance to build it the right way.”
Owen Southgate also explained further tapping on what his experience is with regards to Filipino culture that could help boost the grassroots football.
“If you look at the cultural idiosyncrasies (of Filipinos), there’s a lot of love, passion and creativity. They are all associative to creating a phenomenal platform for sport, but it’s just piecing them altogether, allowing them not to be touched by anything that kind of taints it and allowing it to grow.
“Obviously basketball is very heavy here, but football is a fantastic sport to make (a great platform for grassroots) happen with all the interest from the outside in. Just make sure that all the resources, be it the funding or the support, go to the right places to make it grow.”
Passion of Filipinos: A powerful trait
Lastly, when asked about what impacted him the most on his visits to the Philippines, from his involvement with Football for Humanity, Coach Owen Southgate emphasised on a few things.
“The feeling, the love for the sport from all the people I’m working with. You could tell in this room at the moment, every single coach has a passion and an identity towards the game that’s way more and beyond the game itself. That’s the most powerful thing that I can draw from the time that I am over here.
“Just like in Davao (a few months ago) when I was with those guys, they’re completely desperate for knowledge and desperate for an opportunity to exercise their vision and views of sport and what it meant to them.
“That’s an incredible thing for an educator to take on because that makes my life easy. It makes my life easy (when I) walk into the room and that the people are ready (to learn).”