By Mars G. Alison
Little Azkals member Major Dean Ebarle adds another leaf to his football career after he was chosen as one of the Top 8 from the Cebu tryouts of the Clear Dream Match III dubbed as the Final Battle for Clear Supremacy on June 7 in Manila.
However, Ebarle’s elation has turned into confusion after he now has to choose between two good things.
As part of the Top 8, Ebarle will get to join to join a three-day training camp that will be handled by the coaching staff of England’s most successful football team— Manchester United.
On the other hand, Ebarle has also been made a member of the Central Visayas football team to this May’s Palarong Pambansa.
“Unexpected kaayo na nakuha ko kay abi nako mga mens sa Queen City ang kuhaon, feeling nako kay na shock na excited nya libog,” Said Ebarle when asked about how he felt upon learning that he made it to the Top 8.
After getting the two opportunities, Ebarle now has to decide whether to go ahead with the chance of a lifetime of training with Man U’s coaching staff or play in the Palaro, one of the biggest multi-sporting national events that most elementary and secondary student athletes aspire to compete in.
This year will be Ebarle’s first and last chance to play in the Palaro as he just graduated from his secondary education at the University of the Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF).
Although there would be no conflict of schedule between the Clear training camp which is scheduled next month and the Palaro, Ebarle said that Team Central Visayas coach Glenn Ramos wants the team intact as they continue training for the national meet.
If given a chance, Ebarle, a national junior team mainstay for more than three years now, said he would love to do both the training camp and the Palaro.
Others who made it to the Top 8 are Shane Larry Sarmiento and Lawrence Baguio of the Abellana National School (ANS), Dan Marnel Villarico and Tom Booth of the Cebu Queen City United, Mario Lorenzo Ceniza of Paref Springdale, Bennydick Saligan of USPF and Yves Rusell Caballero of the University of San Carlos.
The eight were chosen by coach Hans Smit and other coaches of the United Football League (UFL).
They will be joining the Top 8 from the rest of the nationwide tryouts in Iloilo, Davao and Metro Manila for the training camp from April 25 to 27 with all expenses to be paid by Clear.
From the 32, six will be chosen to play in the Clear Dream Match III either as a member of James Younghusband’s team or Phil Younghusband’s team.
Aside from playing alongside national team members and top players from the UFL, the six will also be playing with Manchester United Legends Paul Scholes and Andy Cole.
The final drafting of players will be done by Phil and James on May 10.
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