11th Thirsty: smaller but stronger field

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


SMALLER doesn’t necessarily mean lesser. The 11th edition of the Thirsty Football Cup this year may be smaller than the last, but it will be better with some notable outside teams and players, and an international club, an official said.

“It was the biggest festival in the Philippines with three venues last year,” said tournament director Neil Montesclaros in yesterday’s press conference at the Thirsty Office.

From 340 teams in the last edition, the annual football festival has trimmed down to just 249 squads in 13 different divisions.

Logistical nightmare

Montesclaros believes that it is better that the tournament is smaller because the previous one was a logistical nightmare for organizers and also posed a problem for those that fielded multiple teams and had only one coach.

“We now have one venue and we placed a maximum number of teams per division. We even had to say no to other teams,” said Montesclaros.

The Thirsty Football Cup kicks off this Friday at 5 p.m. and will run until Sunday at the Cebu City Sports Center football pitch.

The organizers said some notable local players will be playing in the tournament. Last year, Azkal players Chieffy Caligdong and Ian Araneta were fielded by Erco in the Men’s Open division.

In competition

A total of 19 out-of-Cebu squads are competing in the tournament, with teams from San Carlos City, Dumaguete City, Davao City, Bohol, Manila, Leyte, Tacloban, Dipolog, Negros Occidental, Oroqueta City, Cagayan de Oro and Leyte.

The team from Manila is called the Global Youth Elite, which is the Philippines Under-13 National squad.

Another team called Erco-Bro Koreans, which will compete in both the Under-20 and Men’s Open divisions, will be the first international squad that will compete in the popular football festival. They will be arriving on Thursday.

The 13 divisions of the tournament are Mixed Under-7, Mixed Under-9, Mixed Under-11, Boys Under-13, Boys Under-15, Boys Under-18, Boys Under-20, Girls Under-15, Girls Under-18, Girls Under-20, 38-and-Above, Men’s Open and Women’s Open.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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