Only a month to go before the start of the country’s biggest football league – the Philippines Football League – commences. As of posting time, seven clubs have officially been tabbed to take part in the first season that opens on April 22.
Here is a brief profile of each club:
Global Queen City FC
Location represented: Cebu City
Home venue: Cebu City Sports Complex
Originally based in Leyte, Global is one of the most successful clubs in the current football renaissance era. The club won the United Football League first division in 2012, 2014, and 2016, making it the final league champions. By virtue of placing on top of the UFL, the Dan Palami-owned squad has represented the country in regional club competitions, most recently reaching as far as the second round of the 2017 AFC Champions League qualifiers.
Location represented: Bacolod City
Home venue: Panaad Park and Stadium
Ceres-Negros is a club that zoomed past the competition en route to topping the UFL first division in its first season on the top flight, and now has become a common fixture in regional competitions, such as the AFC Cup. The roster currently boasts of players with international experience like Roland Müller, Simone Rota, Kevin Ingresso, Manny Ott, OJ Porteria, Iain Ramsey, Carli de Murga, Luke Woodland, Martin Steuble, Louie Casas, Jeffrey Christiaens, Junior Muñoz, Patrick Reichelt, Jason de Jong, and Eduard Sacapaño.
Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
Location represented: Taguig City
Home venue: McKinley Hill Stadium
The Younghusband brothers, Phil and James, have been synonymous to the orange, white, and blue club, as the two remain to be the most recognizable faces in the lineup. Although the squad does not have as many silverware as other prominent clubs, it is the first one to become the Philippines’ ambassador to the sport in the modern era, as it was invited to the participate at the Singapore Cup in 2012, where it reached the semifinals.
Stallion Laguna FC
Location represented: City of Biñan
Home venue: Biñan Football Stadium
Tracing its roots back to the hotbed of Philippine football, Ilo-ilo, Stallion has undergone numerous changes since. Founded in 2002, the club’s crest now sports a much fiercer look. Nevertheless, the Ernie Nierras-mentored contingent has had its share of success, winning one UFL league trophy and a UFL Cup title.
Location represented: Makati City
Home venue: University of Makati Stadium
One of the oldest clubs at the PFL, Kaya is known for its rabid fanbase with the Ultras Kaya leading the way. The UFL league crown proved to be elusive, but the currently Makati-based crew is hoping to turn the tide now that it is playing on a bigger stage.
Davao Aguilas FC
Location represented: Tagum City
Home venue: Davao del Norte Sports Complex
The lone Mindanao representative, Davao Aguilas is currently cloaked in mystery as little is still known on the composition of the club, except for the fact that it is planning to field an all-Filipino roster to be composed mostly of Mindanaoans. Work is cut for head coach Melchor Anzures as he builds the team from scratch.
Ilocos United FC
Location represented: City of Vigan
Home venue: Quirino Stadium
Another newcomer, Ilocos United has been making noise, albeit online. Based on the club’s social media presence, it appears that support is rife for the club. But we all know that the real battle is fought on the pitch. Until more information about the squad is gleaned, the northernmost (as of time of publishing) club of the league would remain an enigma, not just to fans, but to opponents as well.
They already have an official website: IUFC.COM.PH
JP Voltes Marikina FC
Location represented: Marikina City
Home venue: Marikina Sports Park
The “JP” stands for Japan Philippines, and the “Voltes” is for the Japanese animation character Voltes V (5). The club has a policy that all of their foreign players should be Japanese.
According to their website, Dan Palami manages this team, while its representative is Kyo Nagami.