THE Ceres Negros Football Club returned to the drawing board as it prepares for next year’s Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Group Stage from late February to May 2017.
The Negros Occidental-based club has for the second straight year qualified to the AFC Cup together with Tampines Rovers or Geylang International of Singapore, Malaysia’s Felda United, and Ha Noi T&T or SHB Da Nang of Vietnam, and will hold home games for Group G at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Rovers and Ha Noi T&T will see action in the AFC Champions League play-offs. If these teams advance to the league’s group stage, Geylang and SHB will take their respective spots.
The local club has expressed appreciation to the support shown by the Negrense fans, Negros Occidental Football Association president Ricardo Yanson Jr., and Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. for continuously helping the sport of football.
In ensuring that the hosting will be in accordance with the AFC requirement, the Ceres Negros FC will meet with concerned agencies to address the necessary details which include stadium readiness, security, marketing and promotions, transportation, and accommodations for the AFC officials and visiting teams.
Earlier this year, Panaad Stadium also hosted the AFC Cup Group C home matches against teams from Singapore, Malaysia, and Bangladesh and had Hong Kong’s South China AA during the Round of 16.
Meanwhile, with the deadline for the teams’ confirmation in the newly-established Philippines Football League set this December 31, Ceres Negros Football Club is expected to bring in a stronger team.
Club technical director Ali Go said they are now finalizing their roster which will be announced when the camp resumes in January, ahead of the AFC Cup group stage.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on December 22, 2016.
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