A superb 2-5 win by National Capital Region FA (NCR FA) and a 3-0 victory via default in favor of Negros Occidental FA (NOFA) see both teams finish in the top two respectively in Group A of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Under-15 Boys National Championship which concluded last November 19 in the PFF Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
In the early morning opener, a first half hat-trick by Dominic Tom (18′,37, 44′) edged out a promising resistance presented by Laguna FA with goals from Vincent Aaron Saludo (24′) and Louis Angelo Junio (29′) as the capital region’s representatives were able to nurse a slim 2-3 advantage heading into the break.
However, Laguna had no reply to an Andrei Gonzales 55th minute conversion which was then followed by a 69th minute Rodrigo Mariñas cushion in the second half, as NCR FA marched on to the final round of the competition in fine form.
For the subsequent fixture of the day, NOFA had their undefeated run in Group A confirmed without kicking a ball as they were awarded a 3-0 win via default when Cordillera RFA were a no show.
According to officials, via info gathered, Cordillera already left for Baguio last Saturday (November 16) presumably without any intent of playing their final match. It is yet being mulled on the sanction details that will be filed against the regional FA.
With the result, NOFA joins NCR FA to the final round with both teams getting an identical haul of 10-points (NCR edging the Western Visayans only through goal difference) in the standings.
However, with Group B still yet to commence after games were suspended indefinitely due to the recent earthquakes in Mindanao, determining who will complete the cast for the final round and the schedule on when the semifinals will begin are still to be determined.
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.
Come October 23, 2019, the inaugural Mindanao Cup kicks off at Tionko Football Field in Davao City to serve as the primary vehicle for talent discovery in the region in-line with its other on-going grassroots initiatives.
The tournament, which will adhere to the nine-a-side format, will feature 16 participating teams from various football associations in Mindanao, and will run until October 25.
Organized by the Davao South Regional Football Association (DSRFA) and the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA), the Mindanao Cup is a spin-off of the annual NOFA Invitational Cup in Bacolod City, which success since its 2016 launch has resulted for it to be a recurring age-group tournament.
NOFA President Ricky Yanson, who has been involved with grassroots development for years in Negros Occidental, emphasized that the objective of the Mindanao Cup, which will be a tournament for boys 11 years old and below, is to find promising players with the potential to represent the national squad in the future.
“Our goal is to develop young Filipino talents who can hopefully play for our national team in the future,’’ said Ricky Yanson, who partnered with DSRFA President Engr. Henry Sabate in staging the event.
“We already had four editions of the NOFA Cup. We noticed that only a few teams from Mindanao came over to join, so we’ve decided to organize a tournament that will cater to the young players in the region,’’ added the NOFA president.
While the NOFA Cup gathers select competitive teams from all over the Philippines, the Mindanao Cup brings together squads from the FAs within the region. Mr. Yanson emphasized during a recent meeting with the 17 Mindanao-based FAs that the chief objective is to discover and hone future national team players.
“This is a great opportunity for players in Mindanao to develop their skills and play against the best from the other provinces.”
The participating teams are the following:
Agusan del Sur FA
Central Butuan District 1 Football Team of Butuan-Agusan del Norte FA
CdeO – Little Me Academy FC of Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental FA
Camp Kalaw Football Club of Golden Davao RFA
Davao Lola Mommy’s (White) and Davao Lola Mommy’s (Red) of Davao RFA
Iligan City Football Academy of Iligan-Lanao del Norte-Lanao del Sur RFA
MRFA Sultan Jolongs FC of Maguindanao RFA
SOCSARGEN RFA of South Cotabato – Sarangani – General Santos RFA
Team MARFA of Mount Apo RFA
SWAT FC of Sultan Kudarat FA
Surigao United of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands RFA
ZANDIFA – Dipolog of Zamboanga del Norte – Dipolog FA
Sta. Lucia Jumbos of Zamboanga del Sur – Pagadian FA
The Mindanao Cup is part of Ricky Yanson’s continuing commitment to develop young Filipino football players and to demonstrate his belief in local talent.
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.
With the successful completion of the 2019 Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) Cup last June 2, the association is now in the midst of assembling a team made up of the tournament’s standout performers which will represent the Philippines in the upcoming Soong Ching Ling (SCL) Cup in Beijing, China.
The 15-player Under-13 squad will be consisted with a core from 2019 NOFA Cup champions, Dynamic FC of Bacolod, with an additional six to seven players from other squads who produced exceptional performances for their respective teams in the mentioned tournament.
The process for the additional players will come from a pool of 25 outstanding players from the different participating teams who will be trimmed further down to six or seven through a tryout process which will complete the final 15 representatives. As of this writing, the tryouts should have ended as of yesterday, June 4.
The SCL Cup is an 8-a-side football tournament which the Philippines has participated twice already, in 2017 and 2018, finishing in fifth and third respectively. The 2019 edition will be the third time that the country will compete in.
NOFA has sponsored the country’s representatives in the SCL Cup tournaments. And for the 2019 edition, with much better preparation, the association is hopeful that the team could surpass last year’s third place finish.
With the SCL Cup slated to begin in mid-August, ample amount of training will be allotted for the Philippine squad, with the camp set to be held in Bacolod.
With Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) Cup set to begin on May 29, one thing is for certain with regards to this tournament: This is a focused competition that targets top Under-13 teams in the country and their prospects for a chance to make it at the highest level domestically and internationally.
Now in its fourth edition (the cup began in 2015, only missing out on 2016), the yearly 9-a-side cup competition is an invitational for teams (whether clubs or academic institutions) with the strongest footballing programs to win, arguably, one of the heftiest titles in domestic grassroots-level football in terms of bragging rights.
Winning teams and stellar individuals from other squads could be picked to represent the country this August in the 2019 Soong Ching Ling Cup in Bejing that will be bankrolled by NOFA itself. As for the individual level, players who stood out will have a chance to be picked by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) into its junior national team training pool and a roadmap to the pinnacle for every Filipino footballer: Being part of the Azkals.
Most competitive NOFA Cup to date
This 2019 edition will be contested by 24 teams (the most in its history – eight from Luzon, 11 from the Visayas and five from Mindanao) with several teams possessing fair amounts of footballing pedigrees respectively.
A special participant is set to grace the pitch too in the identity of Marawi Ground Zero – a team composed of young boys from the recently war-torn region of Marawi City which will serve as inspiration and hope through football despite the ravages of conflict.
The competition pool will be divided into four groups of six, assuring each team of at least five matches in the group phase before heading into the knockouts.
This year’s NOFA Cup is about to boast its most stringent level of officiating as it will introduce the offside rule to expose young players to the highest required level of play possible.
The only additional difference NOFA Cup has compared to the 11-a-side football is there is no limit for the number of substitutions in consideration of the age bracket of participants and the possible weather conditions during the tournament proper.
Bigger plans and purpose
Currently, the Philippine Azkals – the country’s senior and most elite national football team – are represented mostly by Filipinos who spent their developmental years in terms of skillsets in footballing nations.
Although there are a few exceptional homegrown talents who are part of the team that was able to reach the semifinals stage of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and participate in the 2019 Asian Cup, there is a need to increase the influx of homegrown footballers that can reach the highest level. This is what the association is exactly aiming for – by contributing to the progression of the quality players from the grassroots level by uplifting the technical skills and knowledge of young local footballers through this competition.
From the words of NOFA Cup founder and President, Mr. Ricky Yanson, “We belive that to improve football in the Philippines, grassroots is the long-term solution.”
To further emphasize the seriousness that the association has in contributing towards the increase in the level of footballing talent in the country, PFF youth/grassroots representatives will be in the tournament to scout players who could be part of the training pool for future junior national teams.
Sustaining what has been started
With the 2019 edition about to begin with participating teams already determined and registration well-closed since February it is to note as shared by NOFA Cup organizer, Mr. Andrew Infante, that other teams are still interested to join.
With the cup slated to have a 2020 edition, Mr. Infante informed that for those who are interested, registration will happen way in advance and will most likely commence on January until February next year so preparation is key.
Also, NOFA has big plans in the pipeline for a more competitive and nationwide cup competition in the future when the tournament won’t be invitational anymore, but be a national-level tournament instead that will be determined by an elimination process in the local level up until a grand champion is determined.
The NOFA Cup will be held in the Sta. Maria Football Field in Talisay City (near Bacolod) which is right beside the tourist landmark, The Ruins.
Joining the tournament has no fees. Just a 10,000-peso deposit that will be returned in full* after the tournament. Subsidy will also be included amounting to 500-pesos per day for each player. The only requirement is, the teams should be ready to give 100% talent and effort in their respective quests to be the best.
* Php 5,000.00 of the Php 10,000.00 deposit will be returned to the team upon arrival in the tournament. The remaining Php 5,000.00 will serve as security for the duration of the cup from which possible fees for tournament-related fines from in-game violations (if there are any) are deducted and the remaining amount will be returned to the team upon completion of its participation.