CMORFA STARTS BUILD-UP FOR NATIONAL U19 CHAMPIONSHIPS
The team is being formed to hopefully compete in the National U19 Boys National Championship some time in May at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
A total of 21 of the best young footballers in the region, born 2003, showed up in the first day of trials held last Saturday, March 26 at the Pelaez Sports Complex at the center of Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) B licensed coach Ivan Caiña conducted the trials in the absence of newly-appointed coach Jerome dela Peña who was in Cebu for business.
Among those who showed up was the former National U16 Philippine team player Josh Go. He played for Rosevale School during his elementary days and Corpus Christi High School during his junior high school.
Go is now a graduating Grade-12 Senior High student at Lumbia National High School.
He was a member of the Northern Mindanao team that played in the elementary boys in the Palarong Pambansa in Albay in 2016. He is an all around player who could play up front, in the midfield or at the back.
Another footballer who showed up was goalkeeper Andre Ebuna of Corpus Christi High School. Ebuna trained for a month in Germany through the Allianz football program.
Josh Go’s four teammates in Albay, Lyle Dy, JL Cascara, John Gementiza and Raffy Rubio also showed up for the trials. Dy, a Grade-12 student at Rosevale School, is a scoring machine and plays attacking midfielder.
Cascara, also a Grade-12 student at Rosevale, is a shifty winger. He played for La Salle in Manila when he was in Grade 10 but moved back to Rosevale School when the Covid-19 pandemic started.
John Gementiza used to study at Rosevale but has transferred to University of Science and Technology of the Philippines (USTP) for his Senior High School.
Raffy Rubio was part of the Philippine National U16 training pool. He is now enrolled at Corpus Christi School.
Caiña thinks that the team once finalized has the potential to be competitive enough to advance to the National Stage Group.
“However, we have to work hard on our fitness and how we can be efficient with it because we only have 2-3 weeks of preparation for the Regional Group Stage,” he said.
CMORFA will compete in Group F of the 2nd Division with Butuan-Agusan del Norte RFA, Agusan del Sur-Surigao del Sur RFA, and Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island RFA. The regional competition is set tentatively on April 18 in Butuan City.
Completing the CMORFA who showed up for trials were midfielder Paulo Ladaga, defender Luigi Awayan, goalkeeper Rafael Reyes, midfielder Anthon Mendoza, goalkeeper Rommel Solis, winger Car Mabuhay, defender Ernesto Serioso, defender Gabriel Garrido, midfielder Lester Palarca, winger Kent Quieto, forward Nick Longganoy, defender Sheen Valdeo, winger Joh Salipnol, defender Christian Abad, and Kurt Tamabo.
Assisting Caiña during the tryouts were goalkeeping coach Lance Turrecha and young coach Dan Aquino. Another set of tryouts will be held on Friday evening at the same venue.
Head coach Jerome del Peña is expected to lead the trials. ([email protected])
Former National U16 team player Josh Go will lead the team. (Photo by Jack Biantan)