COACH Marlon Merlin expects his team to perform well when they represent Cagayan de Oro in the Mindanao Cup set in Davao City on October 22 to 25 at the Tionko pitches.
Merlin will bring along players from Little Me Academy, West City Central School and Kauswagan Football Club in the weeklong tournament organized by Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) president Ricky Yanson Jr. The tournament is for players born 2008-2009.
“As a coach I have humble expectations but I expect my team to perform well in the Mindanao Cup. We will do anything to make Cagayan de Oro proud,” he said.
He added that he imparts on his players that football is not all about winning but rather for players to play “For the Love of the Game”, and for coaches to “Make a Difference”.
“We will play as our motto says, “Win or lose we are one and we’re a team,” he added.
Players and coaches of Cagayan de Oro Division meet champion from Rosevale School and runner-up Corpus Christi were originally invited for the tournament but begged off because of conflicting school schedules.
Despite of short notice, the division meet third placer--the North District team composed of players from Bongbongan Elementary School in Kauswagan, Little Me Academy and International School -- responded.
Little Me Academy school owner, Ike Olendesca accepted the challenge and then asked his newly-appointed coach Marlon Merlin to form the team.
Merlin also thanked the parents and school officials for allowing the children to play. “Without them this team will never be formed,” he said.
Twelve teams from Bukidnon FA, Butuan-Agusan del Norte FA, Iligan-Lanao del Norte-Lanao del Sur FA, Maguindanao-Cotabato City FA, Mount Apo RFA, Sultan Kudarat FA, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands RFA, and Zamboanga del Norte-Dipolog FA have earlier signified their participation. Host Davao City will will field in two teams.
Teams from Agusan del Sur-Surigao del Sur, Golden Davao RFA, South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos RFA, Zamboanga Basilan Sulu Tawi-tawi RFA, and Zamboanga del Sur-Pagadian RFA may also see action.