UNITED Football League champion Global gets a chance to gauge the level of competition in the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup very early as it has been grouped with a former titlist and two other veteran clubs in the preliminary stages.
Global, the first Philippine football club to participate in the tournament featuring teams from emerging Asian football nations, has been drawn in Group B with two-time champion and six-time finalist Dordoi Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan, as well as Yeedzin of Bhutan, and Pakistan’s KRL club.
“I was actually hoping to at least avoid them (Dordoi) in the qualifiers, but they’re there. At least that will allow us to size up the competition and how strong it actually is considering the former champion is there,” team owner Dan Palami said.
“They may be the favorites, but we’re in a good run of form and if we continue that then we don’t fear anybody in the group,” said Global coach Brian Reid, whose team is the only remaining unbeaten team in the UFL and on top of the league table with 21 points in seven games.
The UFL titlist, though, will have the home-field edge as its application to host the group stage, set from May 2 to 12 at a still-undetermined venue, has been granted by the AFC.
“That’s a bonus for us. That was maybe not expected. But hopefully we’ll get a good crowd out because as you all know the support is the twelfth man and can make a big difference to our progress,” the Scottish coach added.
The top two teams from the four-nation tie will advance to the final round in September.