Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rekindling Football

Football or soccer would make a comeback among Philippine fans young or old. Although I am not an avid fan of the Philippine team in the early years. The last time I watch an international game was way back in 1996 or 1998 during a Philippines versus Thailand match at the Tiger Cup ASEAN Football Championships. Well, our athletes lost then by the way. As I see before, most of the players are either active servicemen with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and some hailing from University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National College Athletic Association (NCAA) member colleges and universities in Metro Manila such as University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University, Ateneo De Manila University and others colleges in Central Philippines like Iloilo.

During my years as a high school player I was stucked in being a local kid and  played in intramurals against lower years and at the same time represented our school in some events. Expanding my horizon of playing as an athlete for a university or college was promising but I wasn't cut out for it with the demand of academic studies taking up a pre-medical degree in securing my future so decided not to pursue it anymore. 

I became a fan of European football watch the Union of European Football League (UEFA) seeing Italian, Spanish and English pit against Russian, Dutch, German top leagues and international players. Also  I have seen how the Brazilians play in the World Cup 1998 and 2002 with Ronaldo as their star player.

I never thought that football is a big sport in the Visayas region with Iloilo / Bacolod would be the capital for football and the small town of Potatan, Iloilo has grassroots of follower who have played the game as early as the age of 4 as what Emilio "Chieffy" Calindong mentioned on one of their interviews with Ms. Ces Drilon on ANC a few nights ago after winning the first match for 2011 beating Mongolia. (2-0) at Panaad Stadium in Iloilo last February 12, 2011. 

Compared to basketball, football requires a lot of running, wits and stamina to play a 45 minute first half in a very wide open field plus it doesn't require height advantage plus long reach compared to basketball which are assets for a players. As long as you run, kick and fool your opponents you are still good. Football is a team effort sport and there is no "bakaws or takaw bola" type of players in this sport.

It was the first time that I see foreign born players with Filipino blood such as the Younghusband brothers, Etheridge and others would play for Philippine National Football team together with our local boys which has become a good chemistry of local knowledge mixing with infusion of international skills of these players with make a lethal combination during their previous match with Vietnam, Malaysia and others.

With upcoming match in Mongolia this coming March, I hope the Philippine team aka the Philippine is Azkals would get tremendous support from our government with the needed fund of PhP 31 million pesos in for 2011 it is undoubtedly huge some of money but how I wish that some of our companies would sponsor the needs of this team and would eventually give glory to our country like Rep. Manny Pacquiao did in his boxing match. Hope he will support the Philippine Azkals in their effort of achieving a victory and a slot in SEA Games, ASEAN Games and The World Cup 2014 .

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