PFF not entirely at fault why our youth teams suck

BY Jack Biantan

ENGLAND has now become a powerhouse in the world youth football competitions. Last summer, the Three Lions won the U19 World Cup in South Korea beating a spirited Venezuelan team, 1-0 in the final.

Just two days ago, England also won the U17 World Cup in India coming back from a, 0-2, deficit to trounce Spain, 4-2.

Why is the England youth program so successful these days? All of England’s players come from different Premier League Clubs or other professional clubs from all over England. Even the Spanish team, all their players are from Barcelona and Madrid.

We need club football like other football playing countries to develop our young players.

It is ironic that our men’s national football team the, Azkals, are having the best performances of their lives but our youth teams have been beaten black and blue just recently in international tournaments.

Of course the fans and the netizens are quick to blame the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) for the poor performances. Actually it is not the entire fault of the PFF why our national youth teams are suffering humiliations during international competitions.

There are many factors why our youth teams suck in international tournaments.

Our youth system is actually defective to start with. We lean too much on the schools to provide us with talents to boost our youth teams.

Most schools do not care about football and even their coaches do not care about the national teams unless they are coaching them. Most of the time they will not allow their players to play for the national teams in any international events and would always find excuses to refuse them permission to train and play. So next time do not bother the schools.

We have brilliant coaches with miles of experiences but then again most of them are based in schools. They could only get talents whom they know and whom they can get access to. And they are, their own players. So most of the time the youth teams that we send abroad are made up of players the from schools which the coaches are employed.

So, even how long the preparation would be, if the teams lack talents, it would never succeed in international competitions.

The solution for that then is to develop our youth through our different professional clubs. As of the moment there are very few PFL clubs who have youth teams. In the long run though, these clubs will be forced to develop their young players.

It is also good for the clubs to develop their players. When these players mature then, they can use them in their first teams thus spending less in buying expensive players from abroad. They could even make money if they sell these players later.

Unlike the schools, the clubs are always willing to lend their young players to the national youth teams because playing abroad would be beneficial to the players. The more they play against tough teams abroad, the more experience they gain. The experiences will then boost their confidence.

So what about the PFF? Since the clubs are already developing the players, then the PFF will have an easier job to do. The national coach could just then identify the players for the various national youth teams. Since these players have been polishing their skills with their respective clubs then they are fit and ready to be assembled anytime. It would not take time to moldthem as a team and be ready for action in any tournament. That is how it should be done. Other countries do that. Why can’t we? (l.biantan@gmail.com)

5 thoughts on “PFF not entirely at fault why our youth teams suck

  1. Good observation, but the problem with PFL youth clubs is they have to pay a membership fee, which is not cheap, to be included in their youth team. What about those who cannot afford but have talent and are much better than those who are able to pay a monthly fee?
    PFF should bring back the Kasibulan Grassroots Program that started early 2000 but was stopped recently. There was also a Teach The Teachers (Public school PE teachers) where PFF instructors teach them football coaching and at the end of the program each Deped district will have a Football Festival participated by around 500 students. In 2013 PFF through Kasibulan organized the first Regional Festival of Football nationwide. What happened to it now I don’t know. I also don’t know what happened to the 60,000 studenys/players who benefitted in this development program. Where are they now? No leagues or tournaments to follow up interest. Now no more Kasibulan. Ibalik ang Kasibulan Grassroots Development Program!

  2. Jack, every one has a story on how to develop football/futsal/beach football and how to build a grassroots program. And many are soing so now. And effectively at that. Olongapo, where I come, from has a good futsal and an average football program. One local club is helping start a beach football program. Both girls and boys have won medal in the luzon leg of batang pinoy and even the nationals. Girls especially.

    What we need are enablers. People and organizations who will help make it easy for those interested to do something for football.

    And I agree with your evaluation. But what solutions can we develop? Sone concrete suggestions. 1. PFF must become an enabler. Ex. PFF must require all coaches who trained with them, the AFC and FIFA to manage a program in their barangays. No exception. They will be forced to train coaches who will assiat them and who will eventually form their own teams.

    2. PFF should start recognizing those clubs and teams who are not members of the archaic Football Association system. In many cases, they are bigger than the FAs abd have more effecrive programs.

    3. Link up with local governments in aid of the FAs and clubs. Use its prestige to let the local football community to access LGU resources (money, facilities, human resources, political support, etc.).

    There are tons of ways to do it. But the paradigm shift must happen. The PFF as an enabler for the football community aside from the current role it plays as the central authority.

  3. Please review both rosters. Not all the players are from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Likewise, the English players play in the youth teams of the most important teams of England as you say.
    https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/england-u17/startseite/verein/23260
    https://www.transfermarkt.es/spanien-u17/startseite/verein/12395
    The diagnosis is nice, nothing new since many years ago. In most of the countries, the National Federation is the absolute responsible about the youth development programs in the country, that´s why the responsibility of the National teams, is exclusively of them. Not only to appoint Coaches and to select players for the international competitions, but to elaborate medium-long term programs for the best development of the football in a country from the grassroots until the senior level. And oc course, to monitor all the precess all over the country. The problematic with the Schools is not a new subject. DepEd has and make good use of its power managing and controling the destiny of the football development in the country through the selection of the best players in the country, giving them scholarships following the american model, and if until this moment never existed a clear and strict policy about the obligation to give the players for the National teams, the football has to look for another alternatives. Those alternatives exist, just with knowledge, initiative and qualified professionals it will be possible to move forward and to create a new generation of Pinoy talents, and not to waste year after year generations of the potential very good footballers. Mabuhay!

  4. I respect you Jack, but perhaps you’ve missed why people are blaming the PFF.

    The PFF have routinely organised things at really short notice and whatever the youth system (club or school) there is no chance for success. How can a team succeed when the coaches have just a few days to scout for players? When tryouts routinely are announced at short notice (often during school hours for school kids), and when there’s no time to train together before leaving for whichever country the team is playing in?

    The PFF are clearly at fault for this… and have been for years. If they solved that and did some decent planning and management, then we can talk about clubs versus schools and other bigger systems. Right now though, they are the reason why the youth teams suck…

  5. Agree with Roy. The PFF simply needs proper management and planning. Skills that any mid-manager in any company has. So whose fault is it if the PFF doesn’t even practice the bare minimum of these basic management skills? And it’s not just in the youth programs that this is reflected, take a look at the PFL which is supposed to be our premier league!

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