ADVANCING past the group stage is the goal of Global FC when it competes in the 2015 AFC Cup.
Head coach Leigh Manson said making it to the next round will be ‘magnificent’ for the club, but acknowledges things are easier said than done.
“We are aware that we are not just representing Global but also the nation. To be part of it, that’s the Philippines, at a club level, arriving on the world stage,” said Manson.
“We have the responsibility to do our job to really show how good the players are. It will be a magnificent achievement to get out of the group. It would be great for us.
“That’s our target. Get out of the group and then, we will take it game by game,” added the Scottish coach.
Global FC is bracketed in Group G with Yangon United of Myanmar, Pahang FC of Malaysia, and South China of Hong Kong.
The top two teams in each group advance into the Round-of-16.
Global FC takes on South China in a home match at the Philippine Stadium on February 25 to kick off its campaign. Five more matches will be played in a home-and-away format.
Manson said the hometown crowd will be a factor in the club’s campaign in the tournament that features a Philippine-based team for the first time.
“It will be very, very hard for us. Pahang is the No. 1-supported club in Malaysia. We will be going to a stadium with 40,000 fans who are seen as the most vocal and passionate fans in Malaysia.
“Same thing with South China. We are going into difficult away games so we are hoping the Filipinos will come out and support us. That’s part of the education, that’s part of what we want our players to go through. We want to show the mental strength and what it takes to play professional football, whether you are playing in the Philippines or in Europe,” said Manson.
Prior to the AFC Cup, Global FC starts its campaign in the UFL's league competition against Green Archers FC on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial football pitch.