Recently earning a promotion to the United Football League (UFL) Division 1 following its sweep of Division 2 last week, the Pachanga Red Phoenix headed by erstwhile Philippine XI mainstay and bemedalled coach Norman Fegidero will be holding a camp in Bacolod City tentatively this month.
Fegidero, who had served as national men’s football coach and a deadly striker during his prime, will be preparing his team for UFL’s next season to be staged later this year.
“I have to prepare my team well. We will have a tougher opponent in Division 1. We will be facing the country’s best teams,” Fegidero said.
Among Pachanga’s holdover players are keepers Mark Sorongon (Iloilo) and Kenneth Dolloso from West Negros University.
Also playing for the Red Phoenix are former WNU Mustangs standouts defender Camelo and midfielder Carlo Tacusalme, defenders Janrick and Jalsor Soriano, wingmen Ruffy Llorente and Gino Palomo, Robert Cañedo (midfield), and forwards Joshua Fegidero and Jovin Bedic.
Other key players of the squad include Iloilo’s wingman Felmar Felongco and defender Ronald Batislaong; defender Regis Divino of Tacloban, and Manila’s Paolo Misa (midfield), William Guerridon (defender) and playing-team owner Freddy Gonzales (forward).
The Red Phoenix also have some foreign players in the list. They include midfielder Ousseynou Diop from Senegal, defender Yves Ashime from Cameron, Nigerian Cris Ojamire (wingman) and Sudanese forward Mohamed Farah.
“We have also signed up two new recruits from Brazil, midfielder Hector Sachi and the other one is a central defender,” Fegidero said.
While the former national mentor said he believes that the presence of foreign players has changed the rhythm of the game in the country, Fegidero stressed that giving local booters the opportunity to excel in the field will be the key for the Philippines to achieve its goal in the international football scene.
Working along Fegidero in the coaching tasks are assistant coach Marjo Allado from Iloilo and goalkeeper coach Kim Versales from Masbate./WDJ