MAWALANG-GALANG NA PO! :|

Disclaimer: Views are my own and nobody else. And please to the band wagoners, Respect. This is a free country, everyone is entitled to freely express himself/herself in any means or form of communication so back off. This is one pissed blogger and football supporter.

 

“As long as Coach Dooley will lead the team, I won’t wear the jersey of Azkals again…” – Stephan Schrock

Official statement released on social media by Stephan Schrock
Official statement released on social media by Stephan Schrock

and shortly after, statements posted by Dennis Cagara on his twitter account:

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Neil Etheridge too voiced his dismay on twitter then deleted it shortly after he posted this:

“I’ve never felt so disrespected my whole life… Kick a man when he’s down…”

If you are a true blue fan and lover of the sport and supporter of your very own National Team, you’ll be heart-broken needless to say. You will lose some sleep, lose a couple of pounds, and maybe refuse to eat, might go catatonic and just spiral down to the depths of depression… Yeah, you get my point? This is the worst that can happen to a team, a communication breakdown with management not being able to talk to players before making announcements, things not being clear to everyone, players being way too selfish and too full of themselves that they put themselves first before the team and the country… This is my worst nightmare happening right before my very eyes.

When rifts happen to your beloved national team, whether it’s Football or Rugby or can be Basketball, and it unfolds to your very eyes, you just can’t help but feel sad about it. It’s like you see your family falling apart and you can’t do anything about it but to watch it, watch while the players, the management, and the coaches throw shit at one another. There’s no resolution to it, nobody wins.

And as if fate wants to play the cruelest of games, I found out about it in the most excruciating way. Click and you find everything on social media. Stephan Schrock, one of the most celebrated players in the Philippine National Team, the guy whom most of us look up to coz he is such an amazing player, seems like a nice guy, always all smiles for fans and supporters, very approachable granting so many photo opts and signing autographs, and seems to flaunt and proud that he is Pinoy (so yeah what’s not to like about him), has just announced he resigned from national team duty because he doesn’t want to play for Coach Dooley. He apparently despised the newly appointed coach and no clear reason was given as to why. Ouch. My first thought was, I thought he’s one of us? I thought he loved us? Then why is he ditching us? Coz I don’t know but somehow his statement came to me just like that, he’s calling it quits and don’t want to play for the Philippines anymore for whatever reason. Masakit. It’s like getting stabbed a number of times with no apparent reason or getting punished for something that you didn’t do. Then as if to add insult to injury, another player followed suit, Dennis Cagara who said the same reason he’s quitting, it’s because of the Coach. Wow two announcements in a day. Then there’s our goal keeper who wanted to do just the same. Why? He’s not included in the line-up for the Peace Cup 2014 happening this September.

I can understand Etheridge coz he’s always been like that, thinking so highly of himself, living bigger than Hollywood. I was not surprised at all by his reaction and I actually saw this coming. You are as good as your last game, my Coach once said. Etheridge only played once during the Challenge Cup and he was benched throughout the tournament coz of an injury he had. He’s not 100% fit so do you think it’s proper to bring him in, play him, though he’s not fit and you have 3 other keepers who got season long exposure, 100% fit and can step up & man the post? It does make sense when Coach Thomas Dooley didn’t enlist him to be part of the Peace Cup. And to throw a fit like that, on social media nonetheless with thousands of eyes watching, saying you felt disrespected by the Coach, isn’t it a bit irrational and way too childish?

What hurts the most is what Schrock and Cagara did. To be honest, I didn’t expect this from this two. I have so much respect for them, I think highly of them and it never crossed my mind that they’ll be doing something like this. I expected it from anyone but not these two. I saw them as proud Filipinos and would do anything for this country, always putting country and team first more than anything else. But heck they proved me wrong. I was an idiot for idolizing people like these two, for looking up to them and making them role models. My heart was broken, twice and I felt like I was insulted and cheated. I was made believed in a façade of goodness & patriotism that turned out to be nothing but a farce. 😦 And the statement from PFF, Manager Dan Palami, and Coach Dooley confirmed it and it doubled the hurting.

But the biggest insult of all is that they ditched us, the country because they are not getting enough playing time in the NT. All of this mess happened just because you’re not fucking getting all the playing time that you want. All because of that fucking playing time! Damn it.

I am asking these players now, what do you actually get from this? Any gratification or satisfaction you get out of making your selfishness public trying to get our sympathy, saying shit about the Coach, disrespecting him and his decisions therefore putting the team and the federation into bad light. Then breaking the hearts of so many of your supporters because you’re not playing coz you can’t get enough of that damn playing time? Happy now that you are putting so much stress on the team, even claiming there are other players who’s feeling the same and would want to have a say? Happy now that by doing just that, by being so selfish, you are destroying the team that we’ve put together by blood, sweat, and tears all these years? Happy now? Ego fed and happily sated? 😦

Just a piece of unsolicited advice from a fan who was hurting from all this drama but got no say at all and was ruthlessly pulled to watch all this horror unfold; Football is a team sport, you win and lose as a team. You gain glory as team and not as an individual player. Like what Coach Dooley said we don’t need the best players, we need to have the best team. We always have to remember that there are 10 more players on the field with you and you have to work for and with each other towards a common goal to be on top of everyone else, to be the best there is. Now, these things – not getting a call up, not being lined up, getting a snub, Coach took you out of the game or subbed you, not getting enough playing time, criticisms from the Coach, these things are not meant to insult you or belittle you and your contributions to the team. You won’t feel hurt or disrespected if you understand perfectly the goals and direction of the team and if you really know what’s good for the team and not what can feed your ego. You always look at how you perform during the last game, your fitness, what you can bring on the plate now and not 5 years ago. You also have to look at the future coz for sure, you are not going to play in the national team till you are 80 years old and you’d want the youngsters to get proper training and exposure in every game, train & pass on your knowledge to an apprentice coz that is what will sustain the NT. Its legacy, you want to be remembered by the team and the fans as the selfless player who shares what he knows and put the welfare of the team first above everything else. Somebody who helped build the team from ground up. Be professional. If you have issues, go straight to the manager or the coach, sit down and talk it within and amongst yourselves and not go straight to Social Media and rant. We would have been spared of all this heartaches and sleepless nights if these players have the decency to just make a call and iron out the differences between them and the coach in private. Now they took it out there, damage has been done, some of it irreversible. Also, what do you do when after you rant in public and ensued an issue of statement from the Federation and the Coach? You stay silent, you keep mum and not go to social media again and post an answer to every statement. You don’t put more fuel to the already burning fire. Again what you can do is phone the people concerned and talk to them, sort it out in private. Lastly, to say that you won’t play for the country as long as he’s the coach, its absolute. No turning back. So now what if he gets to coach the team for 3 years? 4 years? Then it is a guarantee your fans won’t see you wear that jersey again. That’s just unfair and totally irresponsible comment to make.

So where does this leave us? Can our NT be the team to reckon with without the big guns? Yes, I’d like to think so. I would daresay I remain hopeful when I look into that Azkals bench. We have quality players, only lacking is the opportunity to showcase these talents. This is a call for challenge to those players, new and old, to step up and prove that we can make it without the supposedly best players of the team. That the fans can rally behind a team that won’t break even without the cream of the crop. To those left behind, this is your time to shine, take it, seize the opportunity, own it and make something good out of it. And as for the broken-hearted fan like me, I will always support our national teams regardless of the issues they’re tangled with. Coaches and players come and go but the team remains. My loyalty is to the team and the country, not to any coach or any player for that matter. Country and team comes first before anything else.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change…” – Charles Darwin.

Sincerely Yours

The Disgruntled and Extremely Disappointed Fan

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Up the Blues: The Chelsea FC Blue Pitch in Makati! :)

Been 6 months since I last set foot on the pitch so last saturday gate-crash to MSU’s training & pick-up games was a definite treat! 😀 But its just the icing on the cake though. Guess where the venue was for the training & games? T’was held in Chelsea FC Blue Pitch, nonetheless! I was in football heaven to be honest! Couldn’t get it over with till now. :))

The Chelsea FC Blue Pitch.
The Chelsea FC Blue Pitch.

Backgrounder. Chelsea FC is an English football club based in Fulham, London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premiere League and have spent most of their footballing history in the top tier of English Football. Their home pitch is the Stamford Bridge Stadium, where they have played since their establishment. Blue is their official color and to most footballing fans, they are known as “The Blues.”

Now Chelsea FC, in close partnership with The Younghusband Football Academy, owned & operated by national team players, brothers James & Phil Younghusband, they’ve created the first “Blue” pitch in the whole of Asia. It was located at The Circuit, Makati (former Sta. Ana Horse Race Track).

For those of you who don’t know where this relationship started, The Younghusband brothers, before they discovered that they can play for Philippine Azkals, played for the Chelsea FC Youth Team back when they were still based in England. So in essence, they’ve started their footballing careers with the Club.

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Yes, its Royal Blue all over.

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The Chelsea FC Blue Pitch. First in Asia.
The Chelsea FC Blue Pitch. First in Asia.

My pictures can’t tell you how amazing the pitch was. it’s an artificial turf, blue-colored 55mm (FIFA approved) synthetic grass were used (coz Blue is the color of Chelsea FC) with very fine black rubber infill, almost feels and look like an actual soil. I don’t know if its just me or the artificial blue grass is a bit “Skin-friendly.” Friction & contact with the skin when you slide-tackle is very minimal, not a cause to worry for any abrasion. but still as a precaution, I recommend that players still has to wear long socks & astro turf shoes.

The only downside to this Blue pitch is that, its just good for training use and 7-a-side games. While the size of the pitch is the ideal 64.5m x 100m (FIFA’s recommended minimum pitch dimensions for International play), there are not much of a bleachers on both sides, netting is not yet finished. Any long balls can easily go out of the field into the houses in the village near the field. There are comfort rooms but no dug-out rooms for players. The location is a bit hard to go to. You’re life would be easy going there if you have a car, but if you don’t, well that’ll be a little bit tedious going there. But this Chelsea FC Blue Pitch is a bit bigger than the Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill, BGC. Perhaps a bit of fixing here and there, I can see official games being played there someday. 🙂

If you happen to visit Makati, go find this awesome Blue Pitch. It wouldn’t hurt too to bring your jerseys and cleats, pick-up games are played there almost everyday of the week. 🙂

Pasig United FC joins Kasibulan Project 2012 of Philippine Football Federation

This was the article I made for my club’s Facebook Fanpage so not to worry if it sounds so different from my other posts.. It talks about the Kasibulan Project 2012 experience of Pasig United FC. It was unfortunate that I wasn’t able to attend the event but happy to get an insider look from my Coach/mentor, Kuya Alan Triñanes.  so here it goes.. 🙂

and also do like/visit our Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pasigunitedfc

Nothing sweeter than to see the kids of Pasig City actively engaging themselves in football. It was a dream come true for Pasig United Football Club’s Coaches and staff as we have been actively promoting the sport in the past year and will be doing so in the years to come.

Part of the PUFC’s initiative to promote football in Pasig is to take part in all activities of Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and National Capital Region Football Association (NCRFA), the governing bodies for football here in the Philippines. And it has been agreed that coaches & players will be devoting their time for PFF’s Kasibulan Project 2012.

KASIBULAN Project was actually a long-time project of PFF that was re-launched last February 2012. It’s the Grassroots Development Program that aims to discover and develop potential Filipino Football talents from grassroots level and breed new Azkals in the process. Part of the program also includes modules and lectures for people who aims to be a legitimate football coach.

After a few meetings with PFF, the date of Kasibulan Project to be held in Pasig was determined and Pasig United FC heed the call to send in representatives to participate in the momentous event. PUFC Coaches (and players as well for the seniors pool) Coach Alan Triñanes & Sir Rogie Romero was there along with two players from PUFC Men’s Team, Ramcis Allen Chan and Laurence Lao. Undergoing 3-day seminar/classes at Rizal Highschool Football Field, these four gentlemen completed and successfully passed all the modules of Kasibulan Project therefore earning them their coaching certificates from PFF.

Coach Alan with his cert from PFF! 🙂

Teammate and now Coach Ramcis! 🙂

And lastly, Coach L! 🙂

Present in the event is seminar facilitator Michael Jayson Agbayani, development officer of PFF. Present since day 1, Mr. Agbayani has been the guide of participants and kiddie footy players during lectures and practicals on the field. Also present are Vincent Caluag, sports consultant for Pasig City, Atty. Roland Tulay, secretary general for PFF and president of NRCFA and Regional GDO, Mr. Aries Bocalan. The event were also graced by the “Teen Azkals”, who happily mingled with the kids in the program. There were over 250 kids participated which includes our own baby booters from PUFC and kids from public and private schools. We’re also happy to see the parents of the kids present and actively supporting their children’s sport. Among the supportive parents, we saw Congressman Teddy Casiño.

With the U-14 National team fondly known as “Teen Azkals”. They happily mingled with the Kasibulan kids! 🙂

Catching up with a short online interview with PUFC Coach Alan Triñanes, here’s what he has to say about his Kasibulan Project 2012 experience:

“It is very seldom that you get this kind of opportunity. It was a great experience working with PFF for the Kasibulan Project in Pasig and it’s a great opportunity for me to give back my years of playing football. I really can’t help it but smile while seeing those kids play and learn football. After 17 years of not putting on my soccer shoes, or cleats as what they call it nowadays, I got another opportunity to play and to coach. Now, I found my place in the football world, again.”

Well, to these four gentlemen who dedicated their time & effort for the Kasibulan Project and stood representatives of Pasig United FC, we’re proud of you! We admire your efforts to continually learn football and your willingness to share & teach the know-hows to the future generation. Let’s continue learning and dreaming for ourselves, the club, and for Pasig City. Sipa, Sige!

Pasig United F.C joins the Weekend Football League Ladies Soccer Division

On other news, my newly formed club Pasig United F.C is now making some noise in the local football scene.. here’s the story!

This year marks another milestone for Pasig United F.C. Aside from celebrating its first year anniversary as a club last March and holding its very first football tournament in Pasig City first week of April, the club made another notable step of joining the first ever Women’s Soccer League in Philippine soil – the Weekend Football League (WFL) Ladies Soccer Division. A big leap for the club but its definitely the direction we wanted it to go.

The league kicked-off last April 28, 2012 with four participating teams: SQS-Pasig United FC Ladies, Sikat FC, Nomads FC, and United Superstrikers FC. It is an 11-a-side game and given that the club only has a few active lady players, we grabbed the opportunity to merge with SQS United Ladies to aptly complete the line up for WFL. The league will progress till mid June and as per the WFL board, a 2nd season for the Women’s League is in order this coming September 2012.

It’s a great opportunity the club don’t want to miss, the opportunity to play and be part of the very first Women’s Soccer League in the Philippine soil and be part of Philippine football history. It will also help the lady players of Pasig United to progress as they get exposed to a different kind of soccer play in a league level. With the merge with SQS United, our Lady players were also given a chance to get coached by one of the country’s finest female football player & Coach, none other than the Lady Captain of Philippine National Women’s Soccer Team Malditas, Marielle Benitez.

Ms. Benitez, having handled & coached a lot of women’s teams in the past & being part of the National pool, agreed to lend a hand to PUFC Women’s team Coach, Alan Trinanes. Together, they form a formidable coaching duo rallying behind the girls, guiding them both off & on the pitch.

The Women’s team still has a long way to go but they sure is off to a great start. The team may not win all the battles but it’s a great way to learn and be a better team, a better player. Sometimes, the most important lessons in life are the ones we learned when we lose. Keep the fire burning & the hunger ladies and best of luck to your future games! Sipa, sige!

WFL Ladies Division game schedule: Home game of SQS-Pasig United versus Nomads FC on May 27, 2012 (Sunday), 4pm at Rizal Highschool Football Field in Pasig City. Please do watch & support the team.

We also would like to take this opportunity to thank SQS United for lending us a hand in making all of this possible and Ms. Benitez for volunteering to help coach the team. Maraming maraming salamat po!

Interested to play and represent for the PUFC Women’s team? You may contact Coach Alan Triñanes thru his mobile: 09165140009 or via email: alan_trinanes@yahoo.com or pasigunitedfc@gmail.com Good luck to all our lady players! Sipa, Sige! =)

Una KAYA: A day with my fave UFL team, KAYA Futbol Club

UFL season is almost over but was able to squeeze in one game! hehe.. good job! =)

been a supporter of the team for quite some time now and it has been a tradition for me to get to watch and see at least one KAYA FC game every season and was so elated that I was able to clear one saturday! 😀

November 26, 2011, another great day to play footy. Sun was up and shining the whole day and that makes you want to wear your boots and play. After the errands at home, i made it at University of Makati Football Field in time for the Kaya FC game versus Nomads Auction Manila. It was instantly obvious who’d won that day with Kaya FC dominating the whole game with 3 and nothing at all for Nomads! good job team! 😀

Una Kaya!

Prior to the Kaya FC game was Global FC, my 3rd fave team, Kaya taking the first spot followed by PHL Air Force Phoenix, and third Global FC. The players usually hang around the place so we’re able to get some pictures with them! 😀

my good friend & teammate Leslie with her baby Misagh Bahadoran, player for Dan Palami’s Global FC and PHL National team Azkals. Got no pictures naturally coz i’m the resident photographer (since day 1 i started watching & playing football) so there. You just got to content yourself with seeing, meeting, & talking to the players, no picture at all. i’m not complaining, elated to meet & talk to players really, makes me love football all the more! oh and after this photo opt, Leslie introduced me to Will Gueridonn, Fil-German footy player who played for Azkals before and now with Global FC, also he’s a close friend of Leslie’s. i totally forgot to have our picture taken coz the Kaya FC game was about to start and the two still ain’t stopping from their little chit-chat.. hehehe..

met some PUFC peeps in the Grandstand rooting for their teams too! =)

Ultras Kaya

meet Ultras Kaya, Kaya FC’s 12th man on the field — much like the Kaholeros for the Azkals. its actually a booster/cheering squad of Kaya FC (which i’m part of although i cheer for the team in my own special way, not the screaming type sorry). Little boy in the middle is Shane. He maybe a kid but he’s the group leader when it comes to cheering & chanting. the boy has a flair for composing songs for cheer and has a good command of the drums! so adorbs! and i later found out the reason why he cheers so loud and proud for Kaya, Nate Burkey, one of Kaya FC’s key players is Shane’s coach in football. so there! can’t blame the kid, he loves his coach so much! =)

so if Shane has his football hero, I too have a few. to name a few of my local football super heroes, I admire Manong Chieffy Caligdong and his uncle Yanti Barsales. Both pure Pinoy and both proved that Pinoys can excel in football and plays better over the Fil-foreigners. with the right mindset, proper attitude, training and support, Pinoys will fly higher than anybody else. but don’t hate me alright, i admire the Fil-foreigners too coz admittedly, they’ve been a big boost to the National squad. its a team sport after all, one can’t win alone, it has to be a collective effort of a group. one of the Fil-foreigners i really really admire the most is a Chinoy from Chinatown, New York City, Lexton Moy.

Papa Lex! 😀

He’s fairly new to the team but has proven already that he’s an asset. He plays both for Kaya FC and the National squad. He’s proud to represent the PHL and despite his busy training schedule, he still can find time to participate and immerse himself to various football causes that aims to change lives of his Kababayans. a totally selfless way to help a country almost foreign to him since he grew up abroad but still, recognizing his heritage, he’s willing to help his Kababayans in any way he can. he’s a great blogger too! its really rare to find a guy who’s good in writing and expressing his thoughts so that is one kick-ass talent i daresay. =)

more from Lexton Moy here: http://soccerpirrs.com/charity/hammering-out-the-old-drives-new-hope-ffas-new-home/

visit his blog and you’ll be amazed by this guy! =)

pondering on, i never thought i’d live and see the day of Renaissance football here in PHL. with the success of a local football league to seeing our National team play against football legend David Beckham is a dream come true for everybody, not just the team but the fans & spectators as well. i just hope we could do the same and show the same support with other sports as well. =)

till the next football adventure folks and keep on moving your feet! =)

Training day is busy day for Pasig United F.C.

its travel downtime for me so i’m sharing with you guys the other love of my life, FOOTBALL! 😀

i’ve already talked about my team Pasig United Football Club in my previous posts and i wanted to share more of PUFC here in my blog.

the club is still in its infancy and to be honest, i don’t know the story behind why they’ve set up the team. i just recently joined the club, i think about 2 months ago so i haven’t heard the whole story behind it. so, i might write another blog which will focus on the club’s story but today, i’d like you to see what we do in Pasig United F.C. – Our trainings, the games, the people involved. 🙂

last saturday training, i came in late so i decided not to join the practice and to just take pictures! so with Aly (my Nikon D5000) in tow, i snapped pictures away!

i was actually surprised last saturday when i arrived at RHS football field. Lots of people, most of them kids, showed up for practice/training! finally, more people are now interested with the beautiful game. its really heart-warming to tell you honestly coz I always believed that Pinoys are cut out to play football and not basketball (what?!? are Pinoys tall? we’re average-sized Asian people, not the built needed for basketball! c’mon!). football is the custom-fit sport for Pinoys. what’s even surprising is that Pasig United F.C seems to be getting the (much-needed) attention from Politicians, spectators, Football fans, players, & coaches coz i’ve seen several people talking to our coach, 2 politicians already  approached him (sana lang magbigay po ng suporta and not just promises or whatever), one even said that we can actually go and try our luck in WFL..

and also that day, we started the training program for young football-aspiring girls! the turn out was good with Kuya Mike handling the session together with one of our players in the women’s team, Judith. well in this case its Ate Judith! haha!

one of our resident coaches, Kuya Mike & PUFC Women's team member Judith!

Training facilitators Kuya Mike & Ate Judith! =)

Ate Judith & the kiddos!

Judith and the girls gettin’ ready to do the footy drills!

and on the other far side of the pitch, little boys are having their own training sesh too! t’was really really cool to see kids train, its like seeing the future. i feel so proud seein’ the kiddos play the beautiful game! i’m sure they’re gonna go a long way from here! =’)

our little boys!

they’re adorbs!!! aren’t they cute!? 😀

our little boys in action!

our little boys playing some footy! 😀

what can i say, our little boys are bit advance over the girls. they’re playing scrimmages na while our girls has just started out so all drills for them. actually, if you really want to learn, its much better if you participate in scrimmages to get the feel of the game. tacticals will just follow given that you train regularly.

now movin’ on, its time for the Ates & Kuyas to play! we’ve got to train too you know to keep our skills sharp and fine-tuned!

meet the PUFC Women’s Team. Yeah I know, I know we all look nice but beware, these girls can bite! and when they do, they bite hard! haha! But on this picture, we’re not complete. We missed our Midfielder Leslie Laya and me of course, coz I’m the one taking the picture! this makes me hate i’m the resident photographer! oh well..

the lady in blue shirt & white shorts is our team Capt. Lorie de Leon! fierce isn’t she? Game face on while tryin’ to get the ball! 😀

its women’s team versus men’s team! intense coz no one wanted to bow down to the other. papatalo ba naman kaming mga girls? of course not! 😀

meet some of the members of PUFC Men’s team. Couldn’t get proper pictures of the boys coz they’re just all over the place! Promise next photo session I’m gonna go get some nice pictures of the men’s team so that you’ll see how good-looking they all are! =P

so here they are, PUFC boys & girls. 1st half of the scrimmage is done, so while waiting for the second half, players talk about the game. that’s Lhyle there, grinning at the camera. 😀

and yep, that’s our Coach Jong! Watching the game and trying to gauge the team’s performance. this guy is determined to take the whole team up to that competitive level and got a lot of plans for the club. more than being our coach, he plays the role of a big brother to most of us and a father to the little ones. busy as he may be with work and other personal stuff, he makes sure that he’s looking after the welfare of the team. its just amazing how we find confidence on ourselves by just knowing that someone believes on us, on the things that we can do.. so really, thanks to the coaches for putting their faith on the team! =) so if you guys are interested to join the club/team, look for this guy. most of the time, you can find him standing in the middle of the field! 😀

i have to say that we’re still a work in progress. still got a long way to go before we can even compete professionally in football leagues but i have my faith in my team. i can see we’ll go a long way. we may still lack superb footy skills but everybody plays with heart. everybody works hard and train hard for the team and everyone is dreaming big for the team. and i go with the words of Hope Solo, goal keeper, USA Women’s National Team: ‎”When you are playing with so much heart, that’s hard to play against.” so i really am confident the team can win through anything. 😀

let’s all dream big and keep on lovin’ the beautiful game! sipa pa, Pasig! =)

like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pasigunitedfc

 

PUFC Women’s Road to Laurel Cup.. All for the love of the beautiful game.. =)

Several days and off we go to Laurel Cup 2011! woohoo!

Ask me 3 weeks ago and I wouldn’t even want to talk about the tournament. I get so stressed that I shrug off anything that might remind me of the tourney. I dreaded the day I’ll be going out of the pitch to battle it out with several stronger football teams, felt like I just can’t do it even if I’m training for a month now.

But I realized that it’s the make or break point. What’s the point of this whole training for football if I won’t compete? What’s the point of all those Saturdays that I used? What’s the point of all of these? What’s even the point of joining the club if I won’t get myself out there to play and earn wins for the team?

So, after watching the epic game of Philippine Team Azkals last sunday where they crushed, lemme repeat that, crushed Sri Lanka Brave Reds, 4-nil, I conditioned myself that at one point or another, I have to swallow fear and go play the game with the team! Pinoy ata to! Di natatakot at di umuurong sa laban! hehe.. To prep & step up for the match this sunday, me and my team started our very own version of TRAINING CAMP! woot-woot! It may not be as swag as the PHL Azkals German Training Camp and we may not be living under one roof but at least we get a CAMP, period! haha!

We started last Wednesday, June 29 during the Away game of our very own Philippine Football Team Azkals. This was our very first team bonding session and was lucky enough to get free invites from Sky Cable. Thanks to Ms. Enchie of Sky Cable marketing, we dined & watch at the posh Dillinger’s resto in Greenbelt 3, Makati. Drinks were flowing for free and we have complimentary garlic peanuts & pop corn! The game may not end on a sweet note coz its a draw between us and Sri Lanka, but at least my team get to bond!

Pasig United F.C! woot-woot!
me & my mates! =)

With my mates from Pasig United F.C! Let’s take Laurel Cup by storm, shall we?!?! 😀

with our coach! =)

Our coach dropped by Dillinger’s after work! 😀 sad though that most of the team didn’t make it. Should be fun if we’re complete.

posh ang crowd, bow!

the posh but loud crowd at Dillinger’s!

chicken wings FTW!
all done!

Chowed down chicken wings, french fries, garlic peanuts, & pop corn! oh and i downed two servings of iced tea mixed with emperador light! haha!

Ms. Enchie with mah good friend Zsazsa!

Here’s the gorgeous Ms. Enchie and my friend Zsazsa! thanks for the invite ma’am! mabuhay po kayo! 😀

KAHOLEROS!

After watching at Dillinger’s, we all went to the other far side of Greenbelt 3 to see our Kaholero friends who dined at National Sports Grill! They’re PUFC members too! 🙂 After meeting them, we went to Gerry’s Grill, Glorietta 5 to dine for dinner. Over dinner, we all talked about the game, all our plans for the team, and what to do on Laurel Cup. All the talking and the dinner ended our first ever bonding session. 🙂

2 days fast forward and we embark on the next phase: Tune-up/test match with Philippine College of Aeronautics Futsal team. Last saturday we owned the RHS field as we battle it out with the PHILSCA team. Was just sad I couldn’t share pictures (coz I don’t have any). Total of 3 matches and it ended with a draw, 1-1. I was actually thinking we’re gonna loose that game but hell-yeah no, a win was better but I’m elated with a draw. At least we didn’t get stomped on our home field! Good job ladies! 😀

After the intense tune-up game with PHILSCA, we readied ourselves for the main event of the week: WORLD CUP QUALIFYING MATCH!!! Philippine Azkals vs. Sri Lanka Brave Reds at Rizal Stadium. This is the home game so everyone’s excited and all ready to cheer Azkals loud and proud. Me and Zsazsa already have our tickets and on the last minute, PUFC team were able to get tickets for the white bleachers and lucky them, they cheered with the Kaholeros! True, we’re seated in different places but the beautiful game united all of us, not just me & PUFC team, but the country! it just amazes me how one game can unite all people coming from different lives, just amazing..

rain-soaked!

rained that day, not just drops but on full force! so we got all soaked up but proud to say that no one in the crowd moved, we all held our ground despite heaven’s ranting on us! good job Pinoys! nakakabilib talaga tayo! 😀

the dream team Pinas!

see those guys walking at the track? That’s our swag Philippine Team Azkals who didn’t let Sri Lanka score on home soil! good job guys! good job! These pics were taken from a Nokia phone. Professional cameras, SLRs were not allowed that day so I’m sad I wasn’t able to take proper shots with Aly. I feel handicapped without my SLR. ='( thanks to my friend Zsazsa who got her phone up and working and took all the pics that day.

our tickets!

tickets! got it last June 03. yep got that right, I booked it 1 month before the match! Tickets were sold out in a matter of minutes as in serious!

PUFC Dream Team! 😀

Oh there’s the team! We’re seated in different areas but its comforting to know that we’re cheering for one team, one country! and we all share one dream, to qualify to World Cup Brazil 2014! Photo credits goes to my friend Leslie! 🙂

After the historic World Cup qualifying match, some of my mates decided to keep ourselves busy in training in preparation for Laurel Cup. Since we’re basically on a “survive-on-your-own” status now and don’t have the resources and luxury to get enough & proper training, we looked for means and ways to get the much needed training for free and BOOM! We booked ourselves to Rugby Training session at Ultra! It was actually my idea. I needed to work on upper body strength since I play defense for the team so I figured out why not try Rugby. It’s a full-contact sport therefore upper body strength is needed. Running is also essential to the sport so that means there will be lots of running drills. And to top everything off, the training will be facilitated by no less than the Philippine Rugby Football Union which means they’ll have legit coaches training the newbies! So as planned, me and some mates from PUFC tried out Rugby last night. It was intense! Coaches were dead serious with the training so it was really really tough! My running skills were put to a test and I was forced to run 200% faster than usual. It rained before the training and the soggy soil at the Ultra football field (with holes as big as javelyn throws) wasn’t helping at all in making the training easier for us. it was just insane! After the foot drills, we went to passing. Learning to manuever the ball was just hard and I had to use all my core and arm muscles to catch and throw the ball. Then there’s punishment. Whenever we make a bad call or any mistake, it equates to sets of 10 push ups, the male version of push ups! man, that was the toughest night of training i’ve ever been to! And everything commenced into a SCRUMMAGE! yep, you got it right! if football calls the matches srimmage, for Rugby its scrummage. We’re divided into two groups composed of 15 people, after brief instruction from the coach, we do head-on collision of a Rugby game! real intense! I was immensely proud of myself that I finished the training in one piece! haha! oh and I played defender & winger for Rugby! t’was a great experience! 🙂

More than the training, it was actually bonding time for my team too! from bondings, we form chemistry which we can use while playing on the pitch. Chemistry plays an important role in the field coz if players have chemistry, they can easily read each other’s moves therefore creating a favorable game play. Last night’s session also thought us the importance of camaraderie and support to each other. In Rugby, the team moves in synch, moving like one unit so everybody should be attuned to all the members of the team.

Girl Power rules!

man, serious! PUFC girls are tough! to the core! as in!  We were able to finish the intense Rugby training in one piece! haha! proud of you ladies! good job!

My good friend and the team’s star striker Rica bebe with PHL Rugby Team Volcanoes’ Andrew Wolff! 🙂 this was our reward for a job well done on the pitch! haha! so worth it! he’s such a cutie! =P

ladies in waiting!
weee! si andrew ayun! haha!

here, we’re actually waiting for Andrew Wolff to wrap his conversation up with the PHL Rugby team head coach. The coach is quite scary! hehe..

got this new-found respect for the sports Rugby and hands down to all the athletes of PHL Rugby Team and U-23 Football Team!!! why? Ultra pitch is a BEE-OTCH!! as in! super hard to train! saludo po ako sa inyo talaga!

This has been our road to Laurel Cup! On sunday, we’ll put our game face on and go get that win! Go PUFC team!!! maniwala tayo sa goodness! we’ll win this! i believe in you guys! sipa PASIG! 🙂