Defending United Football League (UFL) champion Ceres La Salle FC is
currently in Singapore for a training camp that will feature two international friendly matches
The team, which will be very busy come the start of the football season in the country, is set to start its campaign in the UFL Cup and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup this month.
Bacolod City’s powerhouse football club will be facing two top Singaporean League (S-League) teams.
Ceres will start their five-day international camp with a match against Balestier Khalsa FC at the latter’s home stadium in Toa Payoh, Singapore at 7 p.m. today.
The Filipino squad will face S-League’s 2015 third placer and Japanese League 1 club Singaporean counterpart Albirex Niigata Singapore FC on February 3 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
According to head Ceres La Salle’s head coach Ali Go, the matches is part of the team’s preparations to improve their chances of clinching the UFL Cup and qualifying for the next round of the AFC Cup.
The multi-titled coach added that they already have started training for their upcoming tournaments as early as December.
Besides international training camp, Ceres have also fortified their chances with the addition of Azkal international stars Kevin Ingresso and Stephan Schrock.
After stints in the fourth tier of the German football pyramid, Ingresso found a new home in Bacolod after signing with the club in early December of last year.
On the other hand, Schrock, a Bundesliga veteran, last played for German second division club SpVgg Gruether Furth before being shipped to the Ceres for a loan until the next transfer window opens in Europe.
“He (Schrock) is a very experienced player. His work ethics will push all players to their potential.
He is an impact player also who could change the result of the game,” Go about Schrock said in an interview with The Manila Times.
Meanwhile, Ceres La Salle will be opening their tour of duty in the UFL Cup as they face fellow first division crew Loyola Meralco Sparks FC on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The club has been drawn in this year’s group of death in Group B, which also include top UFL clubs Loyola, Green Archers United FC, Global FC plus second tier teams Nomads FC and Pasargad FC.
Ceres will have their hands full this February as they are also slated to start their campaign for the AFC Cup on February 23 at the Panaad Sports Complex as they face Malaysia’s Selangor FA.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES