IT’S all about exposure and experience for Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) as it fields young players in the Girls Under-18 and Ladies’ Open divisions in the upcoming 18th Aboitiz Football Cup.
SHS-AdC will be joining three categories in the Aboitiz Football Cup – Girls Under-15, Girls Under-18 and Ladies’ Open.
“My Under-15 team is composed of new players. My old players are playing in the Under-18 and in the Ladies’ Open. We only have a few players so some of the Under-15 players will play for the Under-18 team,” SHS-AdC Girls team head coach Rose Ton Bariñan, who will play in the Ladies’ Open team, told Sun.Star Cebu. “We want our players to be more exposed.”
Most of Bariñan’s old players can’t make the Girls Under-15 age limit and are mostly in the Under-16 age class, two year’s younger for the Under-18 division.
The likes of former RP national team players Itsuko Bacatan and Arantxa Trebol will be in the Girls Under-18 and the Ladies’ Open teams.
“The only thing that I expect that we are at an advantage against older and more experienced players is our stamina. I hope we can also apply our set plays that we have prepared for this tournament,” said Bariñan, referring to her team facing on other Ladies’ Open squads.
SHS-AdC can compete against older teams, which was evident in its first runner-up finish in the Women’s Open of the Adidas Cup. SHS-AdC lost to De La Salle University A, 2-0, in the championship match in July.
“One that has helped out to improve their self confidence in playing is our joining tournaments inside and outside of Cebu. For me, our losses have motivated them to practice harder,” said Barñan. “Their game now is different from last year. They have better ball possession, they set up before attacking, there has also been a huge improvement in their team defense and they know their teammates’ strengths and weaknesses better. But despite the improvement of the team, they still have a lot of things to improve on because they lack the consistency and not all the players can give their best in every game.”