Spotlight On Jessa Alquino, Filipina Freestyler

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Jessa Alquino is motivated, has the right attitude, works hard, and has the ability to excel.

Jessa Alquino attends Fatima National High School in Gensan. She played football, but then joined futsal when her classmates encouraged her to join them in training.

NOTE: “Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.” Source: Wikipedia.)

Jessa became active in futsal from Grades 7 to 9. After performing well with her team, she was selected for a regional meet. Then she tried football freestyling. “Football freestyle gives me freedom,” Jessa said.

NOTE: Freestyle football, also known as freestyle soccer in North America, is the art of self-expression with a football while performing various tricks with any part of the body.”

Jessa started freestyling in December 2016, influenced to try the sport after watching the 4th Asian Freestyle Football Championship held in Davao City in December 2016. Over thirty delegates from twelve countries participated in that competition, which was won by Philippines’ Philip Warren Gertsson.

After watching video clips of Jessa’s training, I reached out to her, wanting to know the motivation behind her football freestyling and why she decided to be a freestyler.

“Freestyle gives me freedom. All I need is a ball. My motivation came after watching professionals perform in Davao. It was amazing! I realized freestyle was really fun. I met a great freestyler, ChuChu, in person in Davao City,” she said.

While I’m amazed just how good Jessa has become in a very short time, she demurred at the thought. “No! I’m a beginner and need more practice,” she replied.

But the truth is that Jessa’s dedication to freestyling sets her apart from many other young players in the Philippines. In less than a year, her tricks are outstanding.

“I practice every minute, hour, and day. I keep on practicing to become better, hoping someday to become a professional freestyler,” she said. “Erlend Fagerli is my inspiration in freestyle,” she said.

Jessa’s freestyle achievements show that young people can develop quickly when they are given freedom to express themselves. She is motivated, has the right attitude, works hard, and has the ability to excel. But–like all young athletes–she benefits from encouragement, support, and guidance.

As for the development of the sport in the Philippines, I think we should add freestyling to PFF halftime shows. That would make more memorable match day experiences.



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 (Spotlight On Jessa Alquino, Filipina Freestyler)

    don wrote (11/07/17 - 12:00:52AM)

    Indeed, if she just started a year ago, that would mean that her improvement was tremendous! Is she from davao? If she is, davao aguilas should invite her to perform in halftime shows. hehe