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Planting grassroots seeds of football in Mindanao

THE Mindanao Cup set at the Tiongko Field in Davao City on Oct. 22-25, will be the start of the revival of the grassroots development of the beautiful game here in Mindanao.

OVERSEER. Ricky Yanson Jr. supervises the NOFA Cup at the Sta. Maria field in Talisay City Negros Occidental. He is expected to grace the Mindanao Cup set own Oct. 22-25 at the Tiongco field in Davao City. Supplied photo

Organised by the local FA and the supported by the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) under Ricky Yanson Jr., the tournament is for players born 2008-2009. The tournament is envisioned by Yanson to discover young talents to play in the different national teams in the future.

The Mindanao Cup is the spill over of the five-year grassroots effort of Yanson in Negros Occidental, the NOFA Cup. The tournament held every summer at the Sta. Maria fields Talisay City since 2014, has become a showcase of young talents nationwide.

Out from the NOFA Cup young talents like ‘Whiz Kid’ from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Elizah Zedric Ballesteros, the ‘Little Maradona’ from Kidapawan Kurt Sarip, ‘The Tiny Messi’ from Muntinlupa Jax Pena, Julio Yoldi from Dumaguete City, Lucas Andan, Adrian Bacolod, Earl Siconieguem,Viggo Louis Herce have emerged and have already represented the country in various age group competitions abroad.

The Mindanao Cup will be the start of the formal planting of the grassroots of the sport in Mindanao and it takes a Negrense, Ricky Yanson Jr. to do the initiative. Does anyone remember a Mindanaowon initiating grassroots program for football in the island?

This tournament will surely boast the grassroots development of the sport in the island where grassroots development has long been forgotten by the football gods.

When was the last time that there has been a grassroots development program in Mindanao or probably in the country? It has been a long time and I can’t even remember it now.No wonder why our age group teams are whipping boys in any international tournaments abroad.

The 17 local football associations affiliated with the PFF are excited about this tournament and most of them are expected to send teams to the weeklong competition.

Football is very popular in Mindanao. Just watch the different football festivals organised by local FA and you can just ask the question where do these players come from.

The players come in different sizes, different ages, boys and girls, men and women. They come in droves just to have a chance of kicking the football and competing against other teams.

These festivals sprout every weekend in every corner where there is a football pitch. In every big city fiesta celebration there is always a football fiesta.

The Mindanao Cup will only be the start of many grassroots program to come initiated by Ricky Yanson Jr. With his resources and his love for the sport, the golden age of grassroots football in our country is coming and the future of the beautiful game is bright. (pr)

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About mindanao goldstar daily

mindanao goldstar daily
TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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