Makati FC makes its mark in Cebu

SPECIAL GROUP. Coach Ref Cuaresma with his U6 players and their parents after their successful trip in Singapore. / CONTRIBUTED
SPECIAL GROUP. Coach Ref Cuaresma with his U6 players and their parents after their successful trip in Singapore. / CONTRIBUTED

IN THE highly competitive youth football community in Cebu, a new name with an old pedigree is slowly making its presence felt—the Makati Football Club Cebu (MFCC).

Former youth and senior national team member Ref Cuaresma, one of the pioneer coaches of the club, said the club just started its Cebu operations last February and has grown exponentially, with some 150 joining the tryouts and some 80 players making the cut.

“We belonged to another club, and whenever some of our players played in Manila, they would be picked up by Makati FC,” said Cuaresma, who also suited up for the Azkals and for Kaya FC in the PFL.

Eventually, the parents of some of the players managed to convince MFC to establish a Cebu branch.

“We follow a structured training because we want the kids to be disciplined,” said Cuaresma. “Before each training session, the kids just stay with their parents while the coaches prepare the field. It is only at their designated time that we allow the kids to go to the field.”

The club also encourages kids to try different positions instead of limiting themselves to defensive, offensive, or playmaking roles.

“At their age, they shouldn’t limit themselves to one position. You have to play all positions to improve,” said Cuaresma.

The club also weighs in before joining competitions and grades contests according to their competitiveness—developmental, invitational and international high level competitions.

The club has joined a few local, national and international competitions since it started and has been raking in medals. During the Ateneo Cup, its U6, U8 and U10 teams all won titles, while in the GSM Cup, the U5 and U7 got the title, with its U9 squad finishing third.

Cuaresma, who is handling the U6 team, is especially fond of the group as it also won tournaments in Manila, Pampanga and in Singapore. The team, composed of Dwayne Matias, Basquiat “Baz” Go, Renzo Uy, Sandro Capistrano, Seth Enopia, Alamat Daly, Jasmine “Lucky” Fontillas, Jasmine Hume, Kiah Rongcales, Klay Chua, Levi Concepcion and Miguel Senor also won their division in the JSSL Cup in Singapore, with Go tallying an impressive 21 goals in six games.

“He (Go) is a very special player and is so advanced for his age,” said Cuaresma, who’s been handling Go since he was three. “I usually sub him out after he scores, so the other kids can play.”

Cuaresma added that Go completed his hat trick in just 12 minutes, but during the final, Go showed his maturity by staying composed despite the team getting down.

Cuaresma added that the club also gets players from other teams but coordinates with the parents and mother club for smooth transition. They also donate equipment to the mother clubs as a way to show their appreciation.

“We always coordinate properly,” said Cuaresma. / ML


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