The Cebu FC Gentle Giants are ramping up preparations for their first home match in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup on September 21, 8:00 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
The Gentle Giants have their work cut out for them as their first assignment in Group F is the multi-titled Phnom Penh Crown FC of Cambodia that has accounted for a record eight league titles.
Nevertheless, head coach Joshua Schirmer is confident of his squad’s growth and training for their first international stint.
“We’re headed in the right direction, obviously we have a few more days to be ready for them. We’ve pretty much recovered from our previous games in the cup that we’ve won and now we’re working towards our first group stage, so I think we will be ready in time,” Schirmer stated.
The Gentle Giant topped Group B in the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara, sweeping all their matches for a total of 12 points.
Aside from that, they blanked the University of the Philippines, 2-0; buried the Manila Digger, 4-1; subdued Pilipinas Dragons, 8-1; and edged Maharlika Manila FC, 2-1.
Coach Schirmer noted that these games were a big help in their training for the AFC Cup.
“It’s been a great help because we always use these preseasons to get ready for these games, that gave us a full 6 to 7 weeks to train and to have a really good competition and these games were really helpful.”
Schirmer, who has heard so much about how supportive the Cebuano crowd, apologizes since they will not be playing here in Cebu. However, he he hopes the Cebuanos will still watch the match via live-stream.
the 42-year-old head coach is also hoping that Cebuanos who happen to be in Manila, as well as other local football fans, head to the Rizal Memorial Stadium to watch the game.
Tickets for the AFC Cup match will be available at the Rizal Memorial Stadium as early as 2:00 p.m. on September 21.
The Cebu FC Gentle Giants will be leaving for Manila on September 20.