With much anticipation, the Davao Aguilas is set to embark on its maiden journey to prove itself as a team to contend with in the debut season of the Philippine Football League 2017. Despite the many challenges that the club faced in forming its team, from the acquisition of players both local and foreign to the organizational structure of the club, the DAFC has managed to posture itself in fighting form.
Having only been formally established in January of this year, DAFC has truly made head way. To begin with, the club has landed the services of head coach Mr. Gary Philips. A veteran in Australian football, coach Gary will contribute heaps of professional football experience to the club. Alongside coach Gary is his Aussie mate, who happens to be a renowned world cup goalkeeper for Australia in 1974 and Football Federation Hall of Famer, coach James “Jimmy” Fraser has also stepped up to the plate as DAFC goalkeeper coach.
DAFC didn’t stop with these two reputable foreign coaches. They are backed by local coaches who hails from Davao. Seasoned coaches Melchor Anzures, Ramonito “Lalas” Carreon and Ronoel Garfin has proven to be a strong compliment to Coach Gary and Coach Jim.
Davao Aguilas is spearheaded by local players with the likes of central defender Jason Cordova, attacker John Nico Macapal, veteran goalkeeper Kim Versales, Baguio native Junell Bautista and Philippine Azkals standout, Nate Burkey,
DAFC also signed up Davao and Mindanao players. We have U22 mainstays Van Rey Diaz, and Richard Talaroc of Misamis Oriental. In the roster are also young talents Princeton Josue, Davao goalkeeper Roeder Ignacio and Tagum native Alexis Cabistante. Youth players Mujer Sumail, Amir Amaikurut, and Kahlil Jikiri.
UFL players John Philip De Los Santos, John Resty Gumban, Gerald Layumas, Jay-Ar Bucayan, Stephen Burda, and Franco De La Torre reinforces the team .
We shall also see many new names and faces in the players that the Davao Aguilas acquired. International division players like midfielder Dylan De Bruycker, a Fil-foreign baller from Belgium. Other members of the team include Serbian goalkeeper Marko Trkulja, striker Nikola Grubjesic, defender Milos Krstic, and Australian winger Brad MacDonald, Fil-American right wing Omar Khan, attacker Gilmar Fernandez-Lynch, midfielder Andreas Esswein, complete the line-up.
DAFC CEO Ramon “Chito” Manuel notes “This will be a very steep climb for the Aguilas. But, we are well prepared to reach the top and with the unwavering support and commitment of Davao Aguilas FC Chairman Mr. Jefferson Cheng Davao Aguilas FC has a very bright future ahead.”
“We would like to invite all people who hail from Davao and Mindanao to support our very own Professional Football Club, Davao Aguilas FC. We ask you to be with us to complete this journey to bring Mindanao to the forefront of Philippine Football and put Davao and Mindanao on the World Football Map. We are a new club, we are the underdogs, but we promise you, like the spirit of the Mindanao people, the Aguilas will always be strong and courageous to fight hard and no matter what the odds are we will play to win in every game” says DAFC Chairman Jefferson Cheng.
Indeed, the Davao Aguilas Football Club has come a long way in a very, very short period. Now we shall witness the club’s first match of the season in the PFL against Ilocos United FC away on May 7 with a 4pm kick off at Quirino Stadium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. A very interesting first game because both teams are newcomers. One may ask, are they ready for the big league? The answer: A big YES! And it shall be proven on their first match. Sukol Aguilas!