by Vincent Juico
In my conversation last Friday (Sept. 17) with Cebu Football Club (Cebu FC) owner Ugur Tasci, head coach Bing Colina, team manager Hannah Wong, and team captain Evren Tasci, the air was rife with excitement, enthusiasm, and anticipation.
It was so palpable you could see it in the faces of the players who were training and practicing right behind where the interview was taking place.
Cebu FC will be bannered by team captain, Evren Tasci and former UAAP men’s football MVP, Kintaro Miyagi. The team is composed mostly of homegrown players, born and raised in Cebu.
“Actually, this is not new,” Tasci said in an article from Sunstar Philippines last Sept. 12, 2021. “This has been planned for a long time…once we came to Cebu and started Leylam FC, things went on a roll, and everything just fell into place, so there was no reason that we couldn’t be in the PFL. With Leylam FC’s success representing Cebu, this was the next level for us.”
In another Sunstar article by Edri Aznar, Cebu FC head coach Oliver Colina said: “It’s an honor to represent our city and I know it’s a big challenge for me, but I’ll try my very best to strengthen the team.”
“I know we can challenge these teams,” Colina, who was the previous head coach of Kaya FC, added. “Kaya and UCFC are the top clubs in our country. They’re both very strong teams. But we will try our best to match up with the best clubs in our country.”
If the PFL decides to do another bubble, Tasci will bring his team wherever the bubble maybe. The players will play and compete anytime and anywhere.
Part of Tasci’s plans in the not-so-distant future will be to establish a Cebu FC youth football system patterned after the programs set up by successful European football clubs like Barcelona.
Also, there are plans to form a Cebu FC women’s football club. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the charismatic Turkish team owner’s goals is for Cebu FC to one day play in the AFC Cup, the qualifier for the Asian Champions League, the obvious Asian version of the Champions League.
The team is a mixture of homegrown players and experienced veterans. Colina already has the players he needs once the PFL is ready to start.
This writer is excited for these guys and hopes they break a leg, not literally, when the season starts.