By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Azkals Development Team (ADT) got its campaign going in the fourth season of the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Wednesday; a bid it aims to make full use of in seeing its vision through as an organization.
Was to take on United City Football Club (formerly Ceres-Negros FC) in the opener of the PFL’s new season, ADT said it welcomes the opportunity to play in the league and be given the platform to have its players develop for the next level.
“[We’re] happy to get this (tournament) on. It’s great that a development team can enter a league like this. So it’s going to be a different angle for a team like ADT to come into the league but it’s about time and we’re looking forward to it,” said national team and ADT coach Scott Cooper in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
Mr. Cooper underscored that their push is anchored on striking a balance of developing players and doing well in the tournament, where they are competing for the first time as an official member of the field.
“Goal for the team is primarily to develop the players, and part of developing players is showing them how to win football games. So we’re in the mix of balancing things out,” said the British coach, whose side participated as a guest team in the Copa Paulino Alcantara last year.
“There’s not much pressure on the team. We’re here to see what we can do and how far we can go. That’s not saying, however, that we’re going to accept being beaten because it’s not in my nature, not in the team’s nature. You have to learn how to win football games… But the big picture is we will try to develop the players for them to move on and move to the next level,” he added.
The ADT roster seeing action in the PFL is composed of goalkeepers Quincy Julian Kammeraad and Anton Yared; and defenders Dean Ebarle, Janherc Fritz Brigoli, Simen Alexander Lyngbo, Mar Vincent Diano, Jan Vincent Quintana, Jarvey Gayoso, Matthew Custodio and Kainoa Bailey.
Also part of the squad are midfielders Carlo Dorin, Matt Lancelot Ocampo, Marvin Angeles, Dmitri Lionel Limbo, Christian Rontini, Yrick Gallantes, Jerome Marzan, and Jethro Adriel Borlongan; and forwards Kennedy Uzoka and Marcel Ivan Quano.
Mr. Cooper said the team chose the players for select positions to help them grow and develop their game further.
In the PFL, ADT will play the rest of the field once—a total of five games.
Season four of the PFL is being done in a “bubble” setup and is scheduled for two weeks with no fans watching.
The team on top in the end will be crowned as champion.
The Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite, is the official game venue while Seda Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna, houses the teams and the league for the duration of the proceedings.
During the tournament, all clubs are asked to strictly adhere to health and safety protocols prescribed for the league amid the coronavirus pandemic.
PFL matches can be viewed over the PFL Facebook page. PFL YouTube Channel, 1Play Sports, EXPTV Channel and www.PFLTV.ph.