How Can The Philippines Secure More Homegrown Football Talent?

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Let’s not rest on our laurels. There’s more progress to be made!


Progress is being made to secure more homegrown players for our National teams.

The first pathway is the Philippines Football League, a professional football league that gives local players a chance to play football at a high level. The second pathway is WFL Elite, an amateur-level football league that gives local players a chance to play competitively. Finally, there’s a youth league–the Youth Football League (YFL)–that just ended its first season successfully.

Despite progress, it’s still unclear whether the PFL and WFL Elite will be able to address the issue of low pay for playing football. Low pay has forced many top players to view football as a part-time job. Players often retire early–and well before their prime–to pursue other priorities.

Another issue is the conflict between school and club football. For sure, schools have contributed much to Philippines’ football. Schools have good TV coverage and scholarship programs help promote football. But football careers end on graduation day for too many players–except for those who play on the country’s National teams.

Courtesy: The Benildean | The official student magazine of De La Salle

It’s clear, though, that competing successfully in international tournaments requires The Philippines to do more. Links need to be forged between schools and clubs.

Schools need to give freedom to top players to enroll in clubs and to participate in club football activities.

Clubs need to do more to promote young players. Rarely is there exciting news about promising young players during the PFL Transfer Window–about local players who are being transferred or loaned-out. The news is mostly about ‘old names’ who are shuffling between clubs. How else are we going to create a strong pool of local players if they aren’t valued?

The news is mostly about ‘old names’ who are shuffling between clubs. How else are we going to create a strong pool of local players if they aren’t valued?

Yes, club competition remains the best way for young players to become pros and participate more successfully on our National teams. But let’s not minimize the value of school programs. They contribute significantly to athletic development.

We need both the clubs and the schools, and we need them to work together.

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About Lerche Njang

My name is Lerche Njang. I’m a coach and scout who specializes in soccer. I’m originally from Nigeria, but now live in the Philippines. I own L & M Football Academy in Nigeria and work as the U14 head coach with FC Metro Manila. I played with the San Francisco Seals, the Kunming International FC in China, and Thunderbolt FC in Nigeria. I have an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) ‘C’ coaching license and hold a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Calabar, Nigeria. I also earned a certificate in Soccer Operations and Management from Sports Management World Wide Birmingham, UK.



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Comments (How Can The Philippines Secure More Homegrown Football Talent?)

    Alvin wrote (08/07/17 - 3:13:15AM)

    Please consider sponsoring tournaments for amateurs too.
    Explore the Philippines, we have many local clubs but we do not have tournaments to be exposed too. We have great talents and we enthusiastic, we are football fanatics…but you are right, it ends after graduation.

    That is because Football leagues and tournaments are only centered in the cities.

    How about provinces.
    We need support.