UNDERLINING the need for exposure and high-level competition for local lady booters, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) launched the PFF Women’s Cup which kicks off next month at the Turf BGC in Taguig.
With the UAAP limited to school-based teams, the country’s governing body for the sport decided to establish a bigger platform where club teams can also participate, thus the creation of the invitational 9-a-side tournament that will be played on weekends and run for two months, starting June 8.
“We see the potential of our women players and this avenue of high-pressure football will help them,” PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes said on Friday.
Some players in the Malditas pool are expected to participate in the tournament where national team members will be scattered among the 10 teams taking part.
Malditas coach Ernie Nierras, who acts as league commissioner, will also have a chance to scout new talent for the team.
“This is an avenue for our national team players not only to compete in, but to be selected,” Nierras said.
Defending UAAP champion Far Eastern University fields an almost intact lineup, but is bracing for tough competition in Group A, where the Lady Tamaraws will be up against club teams Green Archers United, Sikat FC, Chelsea, and Mendiola FC.
2013 Pinay Football titlist University of Santo Tomas heads the cast in Group B, which also has school-based squads College of St. Benilde, University of the Philippines, and Ateneo, along with club team Loyola Meralco,
The maiden edition of the event follows a single-round format with the top two teams advancing to the crossover semifinals.
The competition will be played in 25-minute halves, with the 9-a-side setup perfect for the ladies, according to Nierras.
“Their technical skills will be enhanced because they will have more touches.”