WITH less than two months to go before the Smart National U-22 Championship cluster elimination, the Cagayan Misamis Oriental (CMOFA) Football is now frantically forming a strong team which will compete in November in Surigao.
Some 23 young footballers from different clubs and schools here in CDO showed up for the first of the many sets of trials scheduled by CMOFA president Percy Guarin and the coaching staff.
The coaching staff, made up of top and license coaches from CMOFA, Webbie Racines, Don Derrick Deriquito and Lance Francisco conducted the trail matches at the Westridge football pitch in Barangay Carmen.
The team is still in need of a manager who will help in raising funds to support the team.
The fare and the meals for the Surigao trip will be shouldered by the league sponsor Smart Telecommunications under the Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) group of companies.
The team will be needing uniforms, training expenses and allowances for the coaches and the players before and during the competition.
Guarin is appealing for rabid football supporters in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental to help the team.
The trial on Saturday also became the first training session of the team. Guarin commented that lots of hard work would still be needed to prepare the team to make it competitive.
“We still have more than a month to go before kick off on November 23. We can still be competitive,” he said.
Trials and training will resume at 7 a.m. Sunday Morning at the Pelaez stadium. The coaches according to Guarin, will conduct fitness tests for the players.
Late participants are still welcome. A total of 30 candidates will be submitted as temporary CMOFA team lineup to the Philippine Football Federation (PFF).
Only 20 players will make it to the final line-up for the Surigao Cluster Elimination.
CMOFA belongs to Cluster E with Surigao, Bukidnon, Butuan and Iligan. Only the top team will advance to Bacolod in the National Championship sometime in December.
Players who showed up for the first trials are midfielder Romario Sanchez, striker Luis Leogie Labos, striker Wenifredo Moreno, striker Jeffrey Maquido, striker Eldo Jan Pabatao, midfielder Bryan Abucayan, defender Sasha Jenson A. Rara, defender Robert John Lagrosas defender John Carl Bulan, and goalkeeper Ivan Caña.
Completing the list of the first day trainees are goalkeeper Jesse Paggaliwagan goalkeeper Neil Wilson Rara, midfielder Mark Ravalo, defender James Torres, defender-midfielder Jose Ramon Monsanto, defender Kent Encarnacion, goalkeeper Richmond Floreno and defender Ralph Borongon.