GLOBAL FC coach Leigh Manson acknowledges the fact that the departure of Jason de Jong as well as other standouts leaves the squad with holes ahead of major tournaments, but assured that reinforcements are coming in.
De Jong, the reigning United Football League Golden Ball winner, has recently been released by Global FC along with Iranian striker Milad Behgandom, defenders Delon Patrick Yao and German Rodriguez, and young midfielder and former UAAP MVP Paolo Bugas.
But Manson said the team is set to acquire “higher level of players” who can fill the void in time for not just the UFL League next month, but also for the National Club Championships that kicks off on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The team is also preparing for the Asian Football Confederation Cup in the next few months.
Still, the exit of De Jong, the steady midfield presence instrumental in the powerhouse club’s run to reclaiming the league crown last year, is a huge loss for Global, according to Manson.
“His ability was there for all to see, but he needed a new challenge,” the Scottish mentor told Spin.ph about De Jong, who also retired from the Azkals last year.
Manson confirmed the Filipino-Dutch De Jong, who played professionally in Netherlands in the past, is back in Europe, this time in Belgium, where he now suits up for third-division K.S.V. Bornem.
“Jason wanted to give Europe another go and I always look to support a player’s ambition, so we agreed (to release him),” said Manson, who didn’t discount the possibility of a reunion with his prized ward.
“I personally am fond of him and who knows? Perhaps we will work together again in the future.”