Twelve young football players will represent the Philippines in the prestigious Astro Kem Bola Advanced Training Program slated on September 13 to 17 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Six boys and six girls aged 10 to 12 years were picked from among 600 participants during the TM Football Para Sa Bayan clinic held in different parts of the country.
“This is Globe’s grassroots development sports program for underprivileged kids. Not necessarily that we want to focus on them, but we are giving everyone a chance to excel in the field of sports,” said Globe Citizenship manager Rofil Sheldon Magto on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Leading the 12-man team is Roniel Vincent Delumpines, a sixth grader from Isabela City, Basilan who traveled eight hours by boat and 15 hours by land just to reach Davao City in time for the football clinic.
Joining Delumpines are Jared Alexander Pena and Ryan Philip Johansson of Metro Manila; Martin Joshua Merino of Biñan, Laguna; Lance Lawrence Locsin of Bacolod City; and Leoven Jay Gatungay of San Carlos, Negros Occidental.
On the other hand, forming the female contingent are Astrid Heiress Ignacio, Ysabella Samonte and Stella Maria Divino of Metro Manila; Mikaela Jacqueline Villacin of Bacolod City; and Jasmine Casandra Agustin and Isabelle Renee Taojo of Davao City.
“These 12 kids have the basic skills of football and they have very good personalities and character. We want to put our best foot forward all the time,” said coach Hans Smit of Green Archers United.
Smit said the kids were selected not only based on their talent but also on other factors such as teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, positive attitude toward teammates and coaches as well as good personality.
During the Kuala Lumpur trip, the young Pinoy booters will be practicing and playing with their counterparts from Malaysia and Singapore. The top 12 players after the advanced training program will undergo a two-week professional training in Europe.