'Football for a Better Life' goes to Dumaguete

FOOTBALL for a Better Life, the grassroots development program supported by Pru Life UK Philippines and run by former Azkals team captain Chieffy Caligdong and Pru Life UK Philippines Grassroots Football Director Chris Thomas, will have its next leg on June 13-14 in Dumaguete.

This is the fifth installment of the nationwide series of football tournaments and clinics that began last March.

Dumaguete holds a special place in Philippine football for being one of the centers of football in Eastern Visayas, and for producing Loyola Meralco Sparks striker Jake Morallo, and players-turned-coaches Marlon Maro, Rolando Piñero and Edwin Cabalida.

Maro is currently the coach of the national U-23 team, while Piñero and Cabalida were assistant coaches of the Azkals men’s national team. Cabalida is now among the board of directors of the Negros Oriental Football Association.

"Sa pagbisita namin sa Dumaguete, gusto naming tumulong sa patuloy na paglago ng sport sa kanilang area at mas lalong patatagin ang kanilang football association (Through our visit to Dumaguete, we want to help in the continuous development of the sport in their area and strengthen their football association)," said Caligdong.

"Sana mas marami kaming ma-identify na talent at ma-discover na quality players na balang araw magiging kasama sa national team (We hope to identify and discover more talent who hopefully can be part of the national team someday)," he added.

After conducting clinics in Barotac in Nuevo Iloilo, Clark in Pampanga, San Carlos in Negros Occiental, and Cagayan de Oro, British football coach Chris Thomas looks forward to experiencing the world of football in Dumaguete.

“In every place we’ve been, the response has been very welcoming. From the players to the coaches to the parents—they’ve all been enthusiastic. Their efforts are second to none. This just goes to show that the Philippines is really a footballing nation,” Thomas said.

Football for a Better Life in Dumaguete will be held at the Governor Mariano Perdices Memorial Stadium.

Aside from the matches for different age groups and the clinics, there are plans for activities that would promote camaraderie between players and coaches.

Football for a Better Life 2015 will run until November. The next stops will be in Naga, Palawan, Davao del Norte, Baguio and the National Capital Region.

For more information, like Little Azkals on Facebook. (PR)