Marnelli “Let” Dimzon, 37, has been making waves in the local football scene since becoming the coach of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in 2010.
Under her watch, FEU won three consecutive University Athletic Association of the Philippines championships, from Season 75 to Season 77.
On top of that, she also led her wards to two Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Women’s League victories.
Dimzon also guided the Philippine Under-14 Girls National Football Team to a silver medal finish in the 2014 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U14 Girls Regional Championship.
Dimzon topped an international coaching course offered by the German Football Federation, attended by participants from 16 countries.
Dimzon said that her career as a coach began when she needed a part-time job to support her studies in the late 1990s.
“Actually, I started coaching when I was still in college (FEU) as a working student to earn more income for my daily expenses. When I was in college, I was supporting myself because my parents cannot afford it. I really feel lucky that I got involved in sports,” she said.
Her exemplary skills in football caught the attention of several national team coaches. She first competed internationally as a member of the Philippine team in 2003.
It was then when Dimzon started seriously teaching football to young players.
“After playing for FEU and when I got into the national team program, that is when I started teaching grassroots football in different clinics and clubs,” she said.
She realized that being a coach is her calling after a five-year stint with the women’s national football team.
“My coaches when I was in college played a big role in my formation as a coach. They are the reason why I am very motivated to improve the personality and skills of my players as a team or as an individual.”
“Another big factor was my goal of fulfilling my dreams that is why I always set goals and do not stop until I achieve the goals that I have set for myself,” she added.
Dimzon explained most of the things she imparts to her wards in training and in every game were the things she has learned through the years.
“All my success in coaching and the things that I teach my players are based on all my experiences in the national team and all the seminars I attended but the biggest factor was the lessons from my coaches before,” she said.
Despite being a veteran, Dimzon admitted that doubts sometimes enter her mind. She said that the best way to dissolve doubts is to produce good results.
“When we got second place that was the time when I proved to myself that I could handle the national team. Before, I had doubts if it was right that I was already coaching a national team.”
She added that bringing glory to the country was a fulfilling experience.
“It was the best experience because it was the first time in the history of women’s football in the country. I love the feeling that everyone looked at you and believed and appreciated what we did.”
Dimzon said that she is pleased with the current state of women’s football in the country.
“For the past six years coaching the youth national team, we monitored the increased number of girls playing football not only in the NCR but in the provinces as well.”
“It is good to see more girls are interested to play football and it shows good results in promoting women’s football in the country,” she said.
Dimzon added that she hopes more efforts will be exerted to sustain the development of the sport in the country.
“In this way we can improve the quality of football when they are still young. The more competition and games they play, the more the experience, understanding they gain in the game,” she concluded.