pff continues task of building grassroots program

PASIG, Philippines – Even as the Philippine Men’s National Under-23 Team continues to train in Gotemba, Japan for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) continues to work to build up a credible and sustainable grassroots program. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. The PFF acknowledges that it needs help with this given the uneven performance of its junior teams in recent competitions.

It is also notable that a significant number of the players currently in the U-23 pool training in Japan were identified during the 2011 PFF-Suzuki Cup Under-23 National Tournament held earlier this year. Many of them come from outside Metro Manila and would have, in the past, likely been overlooked without this tournament.

With the success of the PFF-Suzuki Cup this year, Suzuki and the PFF have expanded their relationship, with the automobile and motorbike company committing financial support to the SEA Games team. This was firmed up today at official contract signing ceremonies held at the Richmonde Hotel at Eastwood City. Suzuki was represented by its President – Satoshi Uchida, Managing Director and Treasurer Catalina “Lin” Calderon and the General Manager for Automotive Sales and Marketing Division – Shuzo Hoshikura. Signing in behalf of the behalf of the PFF were its President Mariano “Nonong” Araneta and Governor and National Team Manager Dan Palami. The ceremony was also witnessed by PFF Treasurer Bonnie Ladrido and Legal Counsel Ed Gastanes.

Suzuki also reiterated its support for the PFF-Suzuki Cup Under-23 National Tournament with a multi-year financial and logistics commitment. More than that, Mr. Uchida offered to further expand the relationship with a contemplated involvement in the PFF’s grassroots program.

On another front, the PFF has solicited the support of the DFB – the German Football Association – in assessing the state of our grassroots program and providing recommendations and guidance. The DFB has sent former Bundesliga coach Eckhard Krautzun to the Philippines to conduct this assessment. Herr Krautzun arrived in Manila on October 17th and met with PFF officials for an initial briefing. Mr. Krautzun will be in the Philippines until November 25th. He will be conducting meetings, assessment training camps and other related activities in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Bacolod over this next month. The PFF will be holding a press briefing on November 24th to relay the initial findings of Mr. Krautzun and convey next steps.

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