JPV Marikina FC will be looking to bank on their lengthy pre-season preparation in their upcoming campaign in the Philippines Football League starting on May 7.
JPV Marikina, who was previously known as JP Voltes FC, will be opening their season with a game against reigning local champions Global FC in the second match day of the new national league.
From notching a breakthrough performance in last year’s United Football League (UFL) season, JPV is keen on replicating the same feat in the country’s newest tournament.
According to newly appointed head coach Dan Padernal, he believes that the early start of their training camp will aid their team in their plight to get the inaugural championship.
“Our advantage here is that our chemistry is quite good already. For me, I prepared a team that is prepared for all the teams, big or small,” he noted.
Padernal continued, “We’re started preparing for this in December of last year. We are one of the teams who were early to prepare.”
Additionally, the club went through some changes during their off-season camp that included changes in the coaching staff as well as the team’s roster.
Former player and coach Yu Hoshide, a veteran Japanese midfielder and tactician, parted ways from JPV Marikina in their lead up to the PFL.
“Yu is already in another team. Now, we go forward. I know some of the players are a little bit affected with that but I told them that we need to move on,” Padernal revealed. “Of course, we will miss Yu because of his passing. But the team needs to adjust on what we have right now to move forward.”
On the other hand, JPV also recruited six additional players in their improved roster composed of one foreign standout together with five local talents.
Filipino-Japanese winger Kou Ichi Belgira leads the new players of JPV together with Laos FC players goalkeeper Felipe Tripulca Jr. and midfielder Aaron Altiche.
Also, long-time Stallion Laguna FC defender David Basa has jumped ship to Marikina along with former Kaya FC-Makati midfielder Sean Patrick Kane.
Japanese player Shimono Atsushi, who previously played for Victory Sports Club in Maldvies, is the only foreign transfer of the club.
Aside from the new players, team captain Takashi Odawara together with mainstays Takumi Uesato, PJ Fadrigalan, Alex Elnar, Allen Angeles, John Celiz and Nelson Gasic will still be on the club’s roster.
Meanwhile, Padernal declared that they would not be playing their first few games in their home turf at the Marikina Sports Complex as it is still undergoing renovation.
“We’ll be ready in two to three months. I think the PFF will give us a temporary home for our schedule. I think it will be in University of Makati Stadium or at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium,” he stated.
He mentioned that they would be adding artificial grass to the current natural grass in Marikina to improve the quality of the pitch.
“There was a Japanese expert in grass that visited us in Marikina. The grass is maintained there but on the side of the field, we’re going to put some artificial grass to make it standard,” Padernal said.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES