By Cedelf P. Tupas
GLOBAL FC seeks to create a ripple in its maiden AFC Cup appearance next year with team owner Dan Palami hoping that a strong performance will further open doors for more Filipino clubs competing in the continental level.
Grouped with the finest clubs from Burma (Myanmar), Hong Kong and Malaysia, Global faces an uphill climb to survive the group stage of the competition which will be a double-round, home-and-away format starting March.
Global is coming off a banner season in the United Football League, winning the league in convincing fashion and prevailing in the FA Charity Cup. But Global lost to upstart Ceres La Salle FC in the FA League Cup finals last month.
Ceres, as Smart National Club champion, is also entered in the AFC Cup, but the Bacolod side will need to go through a playoff for the last berth in the East zone.
“It is not just being crowned as champions of the Philippines that matters now. It is also the chance to represent your club in the Asian region,” said Palami.
Palami hopes that the AFC Cup participation will challenge local clubs to become even more competitive.
“This is a good opportunity, not just for Global but for all the clubs as well because the door has been opened for our participation in the AFC Cup,” said Palami.
“We have the growth of clubs also to complement (the success of the Azkals), this will be the best formula for the improvement of Philippine football.”
Global participated in the AFC President’s Cup last year, but crashed out of the group stage.
“The Asian level is a different level. You cannot be complacent and be comfortable with your domestic achievements,” said Palami.
Read more: http://sports.inquirer.net/170142/uphill-climb-for-global-fc-in-afc-cup#ixzz3MK6f7FH9