GLOBAL Cebu FC owner Dan Palami and CEO Hinko Konstanjevec was in Cebu recently to inspect the Cebu City Sports Center and the University of San Carlos football pitches, two of their possible homes for the Philippine Football League.
Both venues have their pros and cons as a future home of Global Cebu and share the same problem, the football pitch.
However, I think that's not the best news they have so far as one of the concerns local coaches have is what would happen to their best players if Global Cebu starts its academy division.
It's a concern Dan and Hinko share and their youth setup won't see Global Cebu poaching the best players but working with them. The players train with the Academy and return to compete with their clubs and schools in local competitions.
That set-up, borrowed from Hoffenheim's Academy system, will also help improve the mother clubs and teams of the players as they get to share what they learned.
"We recognize the hard work put up by the coaches. It's not about poaching, it's about coming in and working with what's here," said Hinko.
And Hinko, who saw some of the kids in the SunStar Football Cup, is gushing with excitement at the prospect of youth football in Cebu.
"The potential here is ridicilous. The eight to 12-year-olds are at par with those of Europe," said Hinko, who added praise on the work of the local coaches regarding football development.
For their academy, Global Cebu has a unique timetable. In five years, they want the first of the Academy products to sign up with the first team, and in seven years, they want an Academy product to sign up with the best of European football.
And who is Global planning to take in charge of their Academy? One who is with Barcelona's Escola, who's been informed--and cherishes--the challenge of starting something from the ground up.
This development is music to the ears of the coaches and the kids in the younger age groups, because they are going to have chances at home that the teens now never even had. I remember, a few years back, parents paid an arm and a leg for a chance--just for a chance--to be noticed by Barcelona's Escola in a Manila tryout.
Now, Global Cebu is going to bring that experience in their own Academy, one designed for Cebu's promising footballers.
Global Cebu's dream is to have its own academy product sign with the European Leagues and just imagine the impact it would have in local, or even in the national football scene. A Cebuano trained locally signing with the leagues of Europe.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2017.
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