The eight futsal players who will join training in Bangkok, Thailand and tournament officials are Amor Datinguinoo, head of legal, Allianz PNB Life Insurance; Danny Moran, chairman of Henry V. Moran Foundation; John Mar Barsanilla; Mariano Araneta, president of Philippine Football Federation; Melona Rafil; Justine Marie Mamon; Thorsten Gottfried, Cultural Attache to the Philippines, German Embassy; Richard Jacob Ernest Songalia II; Dr. Olaf Kliesow, president and CEO of Allianz PNB Life Insurance; Catherine Angelica Bradborn; Miyuki Tsukamoto; Ivy Paster Tapiz and Juan Miguel Basmayor.
Eight futsal players kick their way to Thailand
Andres Fargas (The Philippine Star) - June 26, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Today, I am in the midst of champions,” said Dr. Olaf Kliesow, president and CEO of Allianz PNB Life Insurance Inc., at the awarding ceremonies of the recently concluded Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational (NYFI) national finals at Laguna Sports Complex in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. “From among the hundreds of futsal players in the country, you are one of the dreamers who made it.”

The tournament was organized by the Henry V. Moran Foundation (THVMF) and sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF). The competition included 4,408 players from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, who competed in the local and regional eliminations in Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, Dipolog, Davao, Baguio, Naga, and Metro Manila. 

Global FC/Pilpinas Dragons won the 16U Boys Division. Calvary Pontevedra (Negros Occidental) surprised many by winning the 16U Girls Division. Laguna Football Association won the 14U Boys Division. USPF Cebu (Cebu Football Association) claimed the 14U Girls Division titles showcasing why it’s the leading center of futsal development in the country.

“The fact that these teams all made it this far is an accomplishment in itself, and everyone who made it to the national finals are worthy to be a called champions,” said Danny Moran, chairman of THVMF.  “The teams that made it to the national finals had to qualify for a regional championship by finishing at least second in their local eliminations. And once in the regional tournament for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, they had to win them to qualify for the national finals.”

The NYFI is the first privately led youth futsal tournament in the Philippines that is nationwide in scope. The tournament aims to promote, develop, and spur interest in the sport of futsal across the country by focusing on grassroots and youth development. 

“We are grateful, that Allianz, one of the largest insurance companies in the world and a big supporter of football globally, launched the event together with the THVMF for the purpose of developing and promoting both futsal and football,” added PFF president Mariano Araneta.

The NYFI also served as the nationwide search for the Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC), a global talent identification program that Allianz organizes globally together with FC Bayern Munich.  At the end of the awarding ceremonies, eight participants in the NFYI were selected from over 70 short-listed candidates nationwide to attend the AJFC that will be held in Bangkok, Thailand in July 2018.  The players were selected not just based on skill and performance in the tournament, on interviews conducted by a panel made up of representatives from Allianz, Moran Foundation and the PFF.  The interviews, which assessed the candidates’ background, talents and accomplishments outside of football and futsal carried more weight than the skills assessment and performance in tournament.

From these eight, three players will be selected by FC Bayern Munich coaches to attend the second leg of the AJFC that will be conducted in FC Bayern Munich’s headquarters in Munich, Germany.

“For the past two months, we have seen tremendous talents from around the country through the sport of futsal,” added Rei Abrazaldo, branding and digital marketing director of Allianz. “Ultimately Allianz sees football and futsal as a tool for youth development, inclusion, character formation and nation-building.”

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