In just three years in the United Football League, Global has stamped its class in every tournament it took part in and captured all the major silverware: the 2009-10 Division 2 title in its maiden campaign, the 2010 UFL Cup title, and most recently the Division 1 title last June.
Now, the ambitious club is not only hoping to sustain its dominance in the country’s premier football organization, but also aims to reach greater heights internationally.
Global’s management has bared its plans to play against a Southeast Asian team abroad in the offseason and arrange for world-class trainers to come regularly for the team to be immersed in “European-style” football. The club has even hired a consultant from United Kingdom, one the world’s football hotbeds.
For now, the team is just focusing on the present as it hopes to continue what it started in the UFL.
With nine national team players now in its fold, Global has emerged as the favorites to take the Cup away from defending champion Philippine Air Force.
“We will commit ourselves to playing the best type of football,” Global president Dan Palami said on Thursday during the team’s official launch for the ongoing UFL Cup at Kabisera restaurant in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig.
“With the players the management was able to sign up, I think the results will be automatically manifested and the supporters won’t be disappointed,” added Palami, who also bankrolls the Azkals.
The team that already has Sudanese striker Izo El-Habbib, and national team members Carli de Murga, Misagh Bahadoran, and Patrick Reichelt became more loaded with the addition of the Azkals’ Denis Wolf, Demit Omphroy, and Matt Uy.
Despite their powerhouse lineup, De Murga and Bahadorn were somehow reserved with their expectations for the squad in the current edition of the Cup.
“We cannot promise we will win UFL cup, but I promise to do best,” said De Murga, who won the Golden Ball Award in the team’s Division 1 title conquest.
“Keep doing what we’re doing right now,” was Bahadorn’s reply.
But Uy, the Filipino-American rookie, already expects no less than the title after being with the squad for less than two weeks.
“My expectation is to win it all,” the 22-year-old midfielder said.
Asked if there would be conflicts in releasing its players for national team duty especially since the UFL Cup runs through mid-November, the same time the Azkals are in the thick of training for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, Palami assured otherwise.
“The philosophy of Global is that the contribution to country comes first,” Palami said. “So we will continue to release the national players.”
“We have a set of players who can step up on the pitch even when the Azkals are out. We’ll have enough quality to ensure our goals will still be met,” Palami added.
Meanwhile, the team has also revealed its advocacies to promote the sport that has slowly but surely increased its fan base in the last two years. Two of its activities outside the pitch are conducting football clinics in Palawan and Leyte and organizing relief operations for the communities that were affected by the recent floods.
“We play not just to impress but also to inspire so we hope to inspire everybody not just to take up the sport but to live lives that can be examples to others,” Palami said.