Ceres-La Salle FC in tough group-A A +A
Monday, March 31, 2014
VICTORY is always sweet, but it’s the pride and respect that count more.
Ceres-La Salle FC head coach Ali Bernard Go has this perspective in their upcoming AFC President’s Cup matches at Panaad Park and Stadium on May 6 to 10 in Bacolod City
Negros Occidental's pride Ceres FC is in Group B lumped with the strongest teams in the tournament after Friday’s drawing of lots which Go witnessed in Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia.
Joining Ceres of the Philippines are FC HTTU of Turkmenistan, Tatung Company of Chinese Taipei, and Rimyongsu Club of the People’s Republic of Korea.
“Definitely, we are with the strongest clubs in this competition. It doesn’t matter. We are here to represent the country. We will play to the best that we can. Win or loss, we will play a competitive game. The most important thing we will get from this tournament is – respect from the best clubs in Asia,” said Go.
Playing at home in Panaad pitch is a positive note for his team to play 200 percent for the Negrenses and Bacoleños.
“It is always great to play before the home crowd. We know they will provide us the extra strength during our matches,” Go added.
He said that in preparing the team for the President’s Cup, they do lots of conditioning – physical and mental.
“Right now, we condition our players both in the ongoing United Football League and the President’s Cup. They do gym trainings to prepare themselves for physical games against the opponents. We know the physiques of players from Turmenistan, Korea a nd Chinese Taipei. They are big and strong thus we must be ready. We also condition their minds not to feel inferior with their opponents and focus on their games,” he added.
Go, after scouting the opponents, disclosed that Turkmenistan is the tournament’s defending champion while the PRK’s Rimyongsu Club will parade six national team players.
“The Koreans are World Cup qualifiers and they’re really a strong and tough team. Chinese Taipei, like China, is also a strong team,” he added.
Group A, meanwhile, is composed of host-Sri Lanka Air Force SC, reigning runner-up KRL Football Club of Pakistan, Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited of Bangladesh and the Ugyen Academy FC of Bhutan.
Group C is comprised of host-FC Erchim of Mongolia, Manang Marshyangdi Club of Nepal and Svayrieng FC of Cambodia.
Group A will be played in Colombo, Sri Lanka with the date yet to be determined while Group C will be staged in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on May 1-5.
Each group will play a one-round league where each club in the group shall play one match against every other club.
The top two clubs in each group will advance to the “final stage” and will be grouped in two with three clubs each playing in one centralized venue on September 22 to 28. (HGD)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 31, 2014.