The Loyola Meralco Sparks is pleased to announce a host of new changes to the club ahead of a highly anticipated year in Philippine football.
Last year’s assistant team manager, Belay Fernando, is now the Sparks’ General Manager, and Aris Caslib has been appointed head coach of the first team, and technical director of the academy.
Fernando has been a part of the Loyola Meralco Sparks since its inception, and her career in Philippine football includes stints as a national team player, and as a member of the coaching staff of the nation’s U-14 women’s team.
“I am very honored to be trusted with a position to serve the meralco organization. I want to thank Randy Roxas, Sir Viboy Genuino and Sir Al Panlilio for this opportunity, and as well to the players and staff that I have learned from over the past five years,” she said.
“I am committed to continuing the Meralco Sparks tradition of excellence through playing football the right way with integrity, honor, and character.”
Fernando also expressed her excitement at Aris Caslib’s appointment. The former head coach of the Philippine National Team, longtime San Beda mentor, and most recently, the Philippine Football Federation’s (PFF) Technical Director is generally viewed as among the country’s most respected homegrown tacticians, and a mentor to many in the community. He is also a technical committee member, and coach education panel member to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
“I’ve worked a lot with Coach Aris and he is a very knowledgeable and experienced coach. He’s been a mentor to me throughout my career in football, as he has been for so many players and coaches out there. We share the same vision and ideals for the club, but the thing that excites me the most is those moments we don’t agree about things and we challenge each other to think outside the box. I truly believe that he’s the best person to lead us into this new chapter of Philippine Football,” she stated, before expressing her enthusiasm for what is expected to be a groundbreaking year for the sport.
“It’s an exciting time for football in the Philippines and we will do our part in supporting the growth of the sport. I’ve been so fortunate to have grown with this sport and to have seen how far it has come. It is an honor to have this opportunity to give back and I will do what ever is required to help the sport and community thrive.”