by Karl Decena, InterAKTV
Philippine football stars Phil and James Younghusband conducted a free football clinic to over 100 kids as part of the CLEAR Dream Match Draft festivities Saturday at the Tuloy Sa Don Bosco Foundation in Alabang, Muntinlupa.
Children from different organizations such as Tuloy Sa Don Bosco Foundation, Gawad Kalinga, The Younghusband Football Academy and Alabang United participated in the different football drills and even played scrimmages against a team composed of United Football League players led by Phil and James.
“Having a clinic for the children of Tuloy and the fans who have supported us is a pleasure for us,” Phil said.
James added that the clinic was part of their commitment to develop football in the country.
“We wanted to give back,” James said. “We wanted to bring here what we learned from Europe.”
Born and raised in England, Phil and James became part of the youth team of English Premier League side Chelsea during their teenage years. They became part of the national team in 2005 and, since then, have become the poster boys of the sport.
But it wasn’t until 2010 when football finally rose to the national consciousness as the Azkals, led by Phil and James, made a Cinderella run to the semifinals in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup, a first in Philippine history.
Now settled in the country for good, the brothers spearheaded the Chelsea’s first football school in the country, the Chelsea Soccer School, which they manage through their own school, The Younghusband Football Academy.
And after looking at how the children played, the Younghusbands are optimistic about football’s future in the country. In most of the matches, the kids gave Phil and James a run for their money, showing prowess in the sport at a young age before eventually losing to the brothers in highly competitive scrimmages.
“We know how talented the kids are, we know their potential,” James said. “When they get older, they might get an opportunity (to play football) in the next years.”
Photo: InterAKTV/Roy Afable