FOR the Younghusbands, seeing Dennis Wise certainly brings back memories of their time with Chelsea.
It has also revived Phil's long-forgotten desire to play professionally overseas.
A former Chelsea reserve squad member who’s now plying his trade in the Philippines as one of the national team stars, Younghusband is mighty glad to play alongside Wise - a former skipper of the Blues who’s in town to grace the Clear Dream Match.
Younghusband and Wise will play alongside each other and play against the side bannered by older brother James and Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro when the charity all-star match holds its second edition on Saturday at the University of Makati pitch.
“Dennis is someone I’ve idolized since I was young,” Phil said. “And it’s a dream come true for me to say and to know that I will have the privilege of playing with him.”
Barely teenagers when Wise captained Chelsea, the Younghusbands nurtured promising youth careers in England before eventually deciding to move to the Philippines to help propagate the country’s football development.
And Wise is proud of the path the Younghusbands chose.
“I think they’re doing a fantastic job here. They have a vision, so why move somewhere else if you want to succeed in what you want to do here?”
Phil agreed, but expressed the desire to play aboard — but only on loan and near his late mother’s native land - still burns inside of him.
“Like Dennis says, if you’re doing a great job and you have a dream, why quit halfway through?” Phil said. “Football’s grown here, but it’s not where we want it to be yet, and until the dream is complete and done, then I’m not gonna stop doing what I love.”
“Obviously, playing abroad is something that if I don’t do, I may regret in the future,” the Meralco Sparks star admitted. “But I think with communication in the Philippines with my club right now and the national team, maybe going on loan somewhere within Asia, there’s still a chance.”
“But right now, the priority is to continue the dream of developing Philippine football.”