JAPANESE football coach and now Philippine National Youth team’s coach Reiji Hirata is impressed by the development of the sport in Mindanao and wants his Training Area Development (TAD) program to start here as soon as possible.
Hirata was in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Davao early this week to orient the AFC licensed coaches of his program which is designed to speed up the football development of young players in preparation for international age group competitions.
“I am so happy. The potentials of Mindanao players are great. I want to advance this TAD program. With your cooperation and understanding hopefully we will succeed,” he told the Cagayan de Oro coaches during the orientation of the program at the barangay Nazareth conference room recently.
Hirata said that all coaches should advance together with the same Philosophy and methods under his TAD program, telling them that by being united success will be fast.
“Look at Japan, when I was growing up baseball was the No. 1 sport. Now football has overtaken baseball. Football is now No. 1. We did it because we are united,” he said.
Coach Hirata has implemented his TAD program in Bacolod City this year and it has been a success. He has identified with different Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) coaches the elite players who could someday play for the national team.
The TAD program envisions to discover young football talents all over the country.
These talents will then be picked to play in various international competitions until they will grow up and become members of the Azkals and compete in bigger tournaments like the Suzuki Cup, AFC Cup and the World Cup.
According to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) grassroots officer Dave Javellana, they will establish three training centers each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Each of the training centers will identify 30 elite players that will train regularly following the TAD system.
Cagayan de Oro is included in Mindanao along with Davao City and Bukidnon. While in the Visayas, the centers will be established in Cebu and Iloilo.
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental already has its own training center.
In Luzon, Javellana said that there will be one in the North, one in the PFF training center in Carmona Cavite and one in the South.
“This will be implemented already starting next year and of course with the help of the different football associations,” he said.
The centers will be for players born 2006 and 2007 in preparation for the AFF age group tournament. “We were very unsuccessful before because we only relied on the players who show up for the Festival of Football. With this program, the training of the elite footballers will be in uniform with the TAD program,” Javellana said.
Javellana is very happy with the different coaches who showed up during the orientation for the TAD in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Davao.
At least 20 coaches showed up in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon and more than 40 showed up in Davao, including some players of the Davao Aguilas FC.
Coaches who attended the Cagayan de Oro orientation were Dennis Bongocan, Jeremy Jablo, Paul Cabio, Reynald Elmedulan, Irish Almeda, Elixir Lausa, Cyril Mark Olis, Rowenn Clemena, Adomson Deloria, Wilbert Racines, Kleave Albastro, Nino Lazo, Ivan Caina, Jerry Sabanal, Glenn Henderson, Espiridion Paran, Klem Villasanta, Edwin Dagdagan and Junieto Actub.