By Mars G. Alison
Cebuano booters will get a chance to play alongside Manchester United Legends Paul Scholes and Andy Cole as Clear holds nationwide try outs for the Clear Dream Match III dubbed as the Final Battle for Clear Supremacy on June 7 in Manila.
Not only that, they will also get a chance to join a training camp that will be handled by the coaching staff of England’s most successful football team — Manchester United.
What is already the biggest all-star football game in the country is about to become even bigger as Clear partners not only with Manchester United but also with the United Football League (UFL), the Philippine’s premier football league, for this year’s edition of the game which will settle the rivalry between the teams of the Younghusband brothers Phil and James.
Drew Copuyoc, the Clear Brand manager, said that they have decided to make the dreams of local footballers come true by allowing six of them to be part of either Team Phil or Team James.
“We want to give them a once in a lifetime experience,” said Copuyoc during the press conference Wednesday held at the Patio Isabel in Banilad, Cebu City.
The press conference was also attended by officers of the Cebu Football Association (CFA) and top UFL players Carli de Murga of Ceres FC and Nate Burkey of Pachanga Diliman FC. Both have also played for the Philippine Azkals, the country’s senior men’s football team.
SCHOLES AND COLE
While Burkey will be happy to play with either Scholes or Cole, De Murga, for his part, said he could either play with or against Scholes, jokingly saying that he can personally revenge a goal that Scholes scored against Barcelona.
According to Burkey, getting a chance to play with Scholes and Cole is a once in a lifetime opportunity and that it would be his honor and pleasure.
He added that he could either learn positioning from Cole, who scored the second highest number of goals at 229 in Premier League history; or passing from Scholes, one of the best midfielders that England ever produced.
Both Scholes and Cole played when Manchester United won the Premiership title, the FA Cup, and the European Cup in the 1998-1999 season.
Both have also played for England in the World Cup.
THE TRY OUTS
The six will be selected from a nationwide try outs. Try outs for Cebu will be held whole day on March 21 at the Aboitiz Sports Field in Subangdaku, Mandaue City. The rest of the try outs will be held in Iloilo on March 23, Davao on March 29 and Metro Manila on March 30.
The top 8 players from Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Metro Manila will be made to undergo a three-day training camp from April 25 to 27 with all expenses to be paid by Clear.
The selection of the 32 local players will be conducted by coach Hans Smit.
Of the 32, six will be chosen to play in the Clear Dream Match III.
Copuyoc added that the try outs will be open to anyone aged 17 years old and above and a player is only allowed to try out once.
The Cebu try outs will be assisted by the CFA and will be limited to only 100 booters.
Those interested can register online at www.cleardreammatch.com.ph or go to the CFA office at R.R. Landon Extension, Cebu City.
Or, interested booters can register on March 21 at the Aboitiz Sports Field at 6a.m.
Phil and James is set to settle whose team will be the Clear Dream Match champion with both brothers holding one game apiece. Team Phil won the first Clear Dream Match in 2012, 5-1, while James succeeded in his quest for revenge with his team winning last year’s edition at 4-1.
This year, Phil and James team will have Scholes and Cole, the voted UFL top players and the nationwide selection of six local/amateur booters.
As in every Clear Dream game, fans will get to vote who gets to play and this year they will get to choose from the top 50 UFL players.
Voting will start on March 10 and end on May 6. To vote, fans can log on to www.cleardreammatch.com.ph. Fans can vote 11 players at a time and three times per day.
The final drafting of players will be done by Phil and James on May 10.