Kaya ‘honored’ to play in PFL opener

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Kaya FC-Makati is keen on making a mark as it opens a new chapter in the club’s history by playing in the first-ever match of the Philippines Football League (PFL) on May 6.

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Kaya will collide against Ceres Negros FC in their home turf at the University of Makati Stadium in the opening match of the country’s newest national football league.

According to general manager Paul Tolentino, the pressure is on them to perform well in front of their home crowd against one of the giants in the PFL.

“Its an honor to play in the first-ever match of the PFL so we’re going to put the best show as much as we can against Ceres,” said Toletino.

He stressed that the game would not be a walk in the park as the players of Ceres Negros are already in their competitive form after their engagement in the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

“It’s going to be a challenge because Ceres has already played five competitive matches and we haven’t played a real competitive match. We played friendlies, obviously, but it’s not the same,” Tolentino added.

Kaya has played in some pre-season friendly matches since January.

“Pre-season has been long. It started in January. Everyone is asking about us but there are no games to be played so there’s not much to talk about,” he said.

Tolentino continued, “That doesn’t mean that we were not working and trying to build up for the PFL. We are really excited to start this. We’ll see if we have done our pre-season right.”

During the off-season, Kaya initiated a major revamp in its roster that saw the departure of top scorer Louis Clark, defender Junior Muñoz and first choice goalkeeper Matthew Acton.

However, it also enlisted a number of local recruits spearheaded by proficient strikers Patrik Franksson and Jordan Mintah to bolster their line-up.

Franksson, who last played for Laos FC in the United Football League, is an Under-23 Azkals standout while Mintah is a veteran forward from Ghana, who last played for Stallion FC here in the Philippines.

Besides the two strikers, Kaya also welcomed goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma together with former Ceres Negros FC players Jalsor Soriano, Jayson Panhay, Marwin Angeles and Marvin Angeles.

“We are quite excited with the players that we have added and we are very optimistic for this season,” Tolentino mentioned.

“We will try our best to try and bring home some silverware this year because we missed it last year,” he ended.

JAELLE NEVIN REYES

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