IT was a debut and a return at the same time for Carlie de Murga on Tuesday night.
One of Ceres-La Salle’s prized additions from the transfer window, the Filipino-Spanish booter suited up in his maiden appearance for his new club and his first game in a long while in the team’s 2-1 win over Manila Jeepney in Division 2 play of the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium.
Out for five months after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, De Murga was back on the field and played the last 20 minutes of the match, when Ceres broke the deadlock and grabbed the lead for good in a battle between Division 2 leaders.
“I’m so happy to be back on the pitch. It was a long time,” he said after the game while trying to apply ice on his right knee. “I was getting jealous watching my (Global FC) teammates.”
He could’ve stayed with his former team, but the 25-year-old booter was ultimately lured by Ceres’ long-term ambition.
“I left so many good friends in Global, but on the other side, I’m happy to be part of this project,” said De Murga who signed a three-year contract with the Bacolod-based side that’s gunning for promotion in its maiden UFL campaign.
It didn’t take long for the versatile midfielder to show his worth after he came in for Angelo Marasigan in the 69th minute.
“It was just his first game, but he did a lot of good one-two passes. I think in the long run, it will be really good for Ceres,” coach Ali Go said. “His style fits here.”
After gaining the approval of his Ceres coach, De Murga, who feels he’s just “40-percent” fit, wants to impress Azkals coach Thomas Dooley next in his attempt to make a national team comeback.
“This is the first step. Then I have to show coach Dooley I can be part of the national team. I have to work hard. The competition is high.”