STEPHAN Schrock is finally back in town for Ceres Negros and it couldn’t have come at a better time for one of the country’s premier clubs.
Schrock witnessed his team barge into the AFC Cup Asean Zone Finals last Wednesday in a highly emotional match against Johor Darul Ta’zim at the Panaad Stadium which the Busmen won 2-1 on a late penalty.
Now, the question is if Schrock can play for the Ilongo-side in their two-leg showdown with Singapore’s Home United, and ensuing matches assuming they push through to the inter-zonal semifinals.
The answer is yes.
The transfer window for the AFC will re-open in August, giving Ceres the luxury of registering new players for the tournament. This means the Fil-German midfielder can be called up for AFC action, alongside the Swedish born Fil-Iranian midfielder Omid Nazari.
Schrock said he would be happy with whatever role he’s given, considering Ceres’ form over the past few games and his insertion could mean one less slot for players who have already worked for them in the regional cup.
That’s why Schrock would rather let his coach decide on what to do with him.
“It’s fantastic. The team did the hard work already and went to the finals. Historic for Philippine football not only for Ceres,” Schrock told SPIN.PH after their training session last Thursday.
“First I have to work my way to the team back because all 18 or 21 players who played already deserved to play and they worked hard. I’m just happy that I can hopefully boost them a little bit. In what way? The coach will find out soon,” he added.
Schrock, however, could make his return for Ceres on Saturday in their titanic clash against Visayas rivals Global Cebu FC.
Schrock was active in training and considering how spent most of his teammates were in their AFC Cup match just three days ago, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Schrock be inserted in the lineup, particularly in a game this big.
Schrock is admittedly excited, but is still holding his breath on whether he’ll finally be inserted in the game.
“If I can make it in the lineup already for Saturday I’ll be very happy. It’s a special game, always against Global, not too special in the stage of the league cause it’s just the second game for us but it’s always a good test against Global, I’m happy to be back,” Schrock said.
“For me it’s not that easy to find my way back to the squad but I will. We’ll work for it. I’m just happy to be back in the team already,” he added.
Despite missing action here for quite sometime, Schrock reassured Ceres fans that he’s in tip-top shape and ready to go when he gets the call.
“I’m always 100 percent. I stayed ready the whole time in Germany so I don’t have to get ready here.”