At 5:30 p.m. today at the Panaad Stadium, Negrenses will be seeing the Under 23 Ceres – Negros Team battle against the national men’s squad Azkals, in a friendly game that will showcase the talent of the local boys who bagged the crown in the PFF Suzuki Cup Under 23 national championship.
The Azkals will be playing minus its Fil-foreign mainstays such as keeper Neil Etheridge, midfield Stephan Schrock and Younghusband brothers James and Phil, who left Bacolod Sunday for Manila where their mother died on Saturday night.
The match against the Negros team will also serve as a tune-up match for the Under 23 Azkals who will be representing the country in the Jakarta Southeast Asian Games slated in November.
Earlier, Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss said they have a young team and they are looking for new talents who will boost the lineup. Several Negrense players, who will be playing this afternoon for the Ceres – Negros Team, were invited to join the Azkals’ camp while they are in Bacolod.
Before the game, a preliminary match between Bacolod United and Real Negrense will be held at 4 p.m.
The preliminaries will give the Negrenses a glimpse of the two teams that will be seeing action in the Negros Football League that will kick off on September 17.
Executive Assistant to the Governor Angel “Nonong” Verdeflor yesterday said that they will have a short program this afternoon to launch the NFL.
With football as one of the priority sports programs of Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., Verdeflor said the NFL will bring out the talents from the countryside and will pave the way for bigger football tournaments in Negros Occidental.
Lending his expertise to the NFL is Junie Lizares, the brains behind the multi-titled Executive Village Football Club, who said the NFL will help the Philippine Football Federation in boosting the stock of talents for the men’s team.
As one of the pillars in PFF’s women’s football development committee, Lizares said it is high team for Negros Occidental to develop its own league that will complement the thrusts of the provincial government.
On its inaugural offering, 16 teams from as far as Kabankalan City in the south and San Carlos City in the north, joining the league.
The teams will be divided into brackets and will play on weekends at the Panaaad, Lizares said.
Listed in Bracket A are: San Carlos FC, Bacolod United FC, Pontevedra FC, Sagay FC, Las Buenas FC, Magallon United FC, City of Kabankalan FC, and Bago City FC.
Grouped in Bracket B are Real Negrense FC, Ceres Liner FC, Himamaylan FC, La Castellana FC, La Carlota City FC, Minuluan Talisay FC, Don Bosco FC, and Cadiz FC.*NAB
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