by Annie S. Alejo
MANILA, Philippines – If they could, the Younghusband brothers try to get an average of seven or eight hours of sleep. “But mostly when we have training early in the morning and we [only] get five or six,” Phil says.
Carrying the country’s name on their shoulders when they play with the Azkals can be a daunting thing; and it does demand a lot from them physically. More so, it also requires them to sacrifice what valuable time they have that they could be spending with their loved ones instead.
For instance, Phil—who is currently exclusively dating (but would not cop to being “boyfriend/girlfriend” with) Angel Locsin—tells Bulletin Entertainment and other members of the press during their introduction as the new endorsers of Aronamin Gold multivitamins, “I don’t know, I mean, we try to find time. I mean Angel is busy with her movie as well; she’s [working] 24/7 at the moment. But ah when we see, we talk and we understand that work is priority and we support each other.”
As such, they see each other “when we can” and offer each other support. “She comes to my games when she can; and I’ll go and watch her movie and things like that so,” he says with a smile.
The brothers also make sure that despite their busy schedule, they are still able to find time for their 10-year-old sister, who’s also had to cope with the loss of their mother in September last year. “She’s doing good now. She’s stronger than me and Phil,” James proudly recounts. “She always has a smile on her face; she’s enjoying everything she does. And we’re trying to help her find out what she wants, what things she enjoys—like hip-hop dancing, [and] tennis.”
“She tried football but I don’t think she’s a team player,” jokes Phil.
With priorities set straight, the brothers also keep their gimmicks at night to a minimum. “If I happen to have the next day off that’s when I go out with a few friends. But if I have a game I’d like to get a good night’s rest and prepare well for [it],” Phil shares.
While they are more popularly known as part of the national football team, the Azkals, which plays a game only about every two or three months, the brothers are also kept busy with weekly games as part of the team Meralco Sparks. James notes, “With Meralco, we have a three-year contract… but that’s how we earn our salary. But with Azkals, [we only get] an allowance. So you’re doing it just for your love for your country.”
Philippine pride aside, the brothers are also very much active in their own advocacy, spearheading The Younghusband Football Academy, which holds a series of enhancement clinics for footballs skills around the Philippines, as its website says. It is something they started in December 2009, even before the Azkals hit it big, and registered with SEC in January 2010. Phil says they also run “a program where we train the coaches;” and they have also noted their efforts to “partner with local governments.”
“It is a company we set up to promote football and develop football in the Philippines,” James is quoted on the site. “[It] is something we wanted to be involved in when we can no longer play.”
But retiring from football won’t be happening anytime soon, obviously, because both brothers remain on top of their game. And it is exactly this kind of active and healthy lifestyle that makes them the perfect faces to represent Aronamin Gold, a multivitamin with active-form Vitamin B Complex, and vitamins C and E. B vitamins increase energy level and boost nervous system and immune system functions, which the Younghusbands certainly need.
Aronamin Gold plays a key role in energy metabolism, which is perfect for the fast-paced lifestyle the Younghusbands engage in. As such, taking the multivitamin has helped the brothers meet the demands of their chosen sport. “My energy levels are so steady. I mean before, I’d train and then I’d be really down. I mean, it also helped with stress and pressure and my sleep is more relaxed [now],” Phil notes.
James, meanwhile, says he takes a tablet “in the morning and before I go to sleep and before games.” And for someone who says he exercises about two to four hours a day, then he does need all the energy he can get.
Curiously, though, the brothers agree that football is the more ‘relaxing’ activity for them than anything they are asked to participate in. “We’re saying, when we play football that’s our rest period,” Phil says, laughing.
James adds, “[When] we have to work in between I mean, if we have shoots… it’s more tiring than actually playing football I mean, all the waiting around, sitting around…”
While brothers had gone to Dubai in early February (“I wanna go on the Burj [Khalifa] and be like Tom Cruise [in ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’],” Phil laughs), the next big game for the Azkals isn’t scheduled until Feb. 29 against the Southeast Asia champion team of Malaysia.
For the upcoming Holy Week, though, Phil wishes for some down time. “We’d like to be with our friends and family [and] have a nice holiday,” says he.
Source: Manila Bulletin