AARON Velez has been named as the new head coach of Foton in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference this September.
The former assistant coach of NU Lady Bullpups and Lady Bulldogs under Babes Castillo will be making his breakthrough and biggest coaching responsibility as he accepted the role left by former coach Rommel Abella, who was ousted midway through the PSL Invitational Conference.
“After from National University, there was an opportunity also. Foton also gave the opportunity for me if I could be part of the coaching staff so I think it was three weeks ago,” said Velez, who was a former College of Saint Benilde player and current assistant coach. “And then, everything (came together) so I’m with Foton now.”
Being the fifth coach of Foton — which shuffled to several coaches from Vilet Ponce-de Leon, Fabio Menta, Moro Branislav to Abella, Velez is ready to take on the challenge of slowly bringing the Tornadoes back to the glory since they last won the title in the 2016 Grand Prix.
“As mentioned also from my first interview, number one I’m quite challenged, number two, I’m excited also to level up if I could say that, number three, opportunities really open so not only for me but also to work with the players of Foton and the management,” he said.
“All of us are aware that Foton was part of the pioneer of PSL but we agreed also that we’ll take it one step at a time. We need to build foundation again kasi it seems like it’s quite shaky lately but with the trust and confidence of Foton management I think we just need to make our system work again.”
With a tall order to face as Foton is set to lose franchise star Jaja Santiago, who is set to play in Japan league, and Bea De Leon still uncertain due to her commitment with Ateneo de Manila, Veleze believes that the Tornadoes just have to trust the process and focus on maturity.
“It’s more of the maturity. This is the PSL, all of the teams are actually doing well in terms of how they improved with all aspect of volleyball,” he said. “I think we just need to solidify the system and to be more matured in terms of being more tactical.”