Following the success of the 2020 Philippines Football League brought to you by Qatar Airways, the 2021 season will kick off with the Copa Paulino Alcantara scheduled for April 2021 subject to the health and safety protocols set forth by the Philippine government.
The announcement was made during the PFL 2021 virtual season kick-off featuring five of the six participating clubs. The staging of the Copa Paulino Alcantara prior to the start of the league will allow clubs to ease into the competition with several international tournaments also lined up for the year such as the AFC Champions League, AFC Cup, and the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
The five clubs expressed optimism on the restart of the league as it will allow them to gradually get into fitness once the league gets the green light to start.
“The earlier we can start (with competitive football), the better,” said United City FC CEO Eric Gottschalk.
“We’re all one here in wanting to play sooner rather than later,” said Kaya general manager Paul Tolentino. “The right setup must be agreed by all the stakeholders and having the Cup will allow us more preparation and active competition.”
The club managers also bared their plans for the season focusing on youth development and developing a sustainable program.
“We were very happy with how we performed last season,” bared Maharlika Manila FC owner Anton del Rosario. “For this upcoming season, we want to focus on building a foundation in order to have a sustainable team in the future.”
“We want to contribute to Philippine football by focusing on youth development,” furthered Mendiola FC’s Karl Tan. “The league is the biggest stage for these young talents, especially coming from the provinces.”
To further spark the growth of the league, the clubs have decided to conduct a joint tryout within the coming weeks. The joint tryouts will allow the clubs to gather all aspiring players together and scout for fresh talent.
“Each coach will have an approach to see the players,” said Stallion Laguna FC head coach Ernie Nierras. “It’s going to be a short window for the tryouts and we’re trying to show the fans and the players that we have the teams working together to make this league better.” – pfl.org.ph