THEY may have caught only a glimpse of the local youth scene, but two coaches from one of the most successful clubs in England are convinced Filipino footballers have the potential to make their mark in the world's biggest stage someday.
Liverpool FC International Football Academy coaches Colin Wilson and Phil Oliver conducted eight clinics over the weekend and liked what they saw.
Over 200 kids aged 5 to 15 took part in the clinics backed by major team sponsor Standard Chartered at several venues including the British School Manila in Taguig, La Salle Greenhills, and Gawad Kalinga.
“From what we’ve seen so far, we were really impressed,” Wilson beamed. “Football’s not even a major sport here, but the ability of some kids is already promising.”
“The idea was we tried to give them a taste of the Liverpool way (of teaching),” Wilson, a Uefa B-licensed mentor, said. “And the kids have really bought into it. There’s full concentration in every session, no one messing around and being silly. And as a coach, I can’t ask for any more than that.”
Each training session, however, lasted for just an hour, so “there’s only so much you can teach,” Wilson said.
One thing that struck Wilson was how active and hard-working the participants were.
“The good thing about them is the work rate. They’ve come and they want to learn and they want to improve. As a player, if you really want to improve, you’re going to get better.”
“More importantly, it’s the enthusiasm that these kids have that drives them,” said Oliver, who hopes to come back to the country for more clinics in the future.
“Hopefully it’s the first of more to come.”
At least, for a while, they managed to impart valuable knowledge that could help equip Pinoys for the global arena someday.
“In three, four years down the line, we see one of these kids playing in the World Cup or the Asian Cup, and of course, that will make us happy,” Wilson said.