Davao wants Amani to be a local hero

THE Davao Aguilas want Amani Aguinaldo to be their local hero but with the Azkals center back about to sign for Ceres-Negros, he could become a local hero in Davao some other time.
If he puts his signature for Ceres today then he has to fulfill his heroisms in Bacolod where opportunities to display his heroics will be countless. Aside from playing for the Philippine Football League, the club from Bacolod has qualified for the AFC Champions League elimination round where it will debut against Burmese club Shan United FC in the first round.
No question, Amani is right now the best center back in the country today that of course if he will be fit in time for the PFL and the AFC Champions League.
It is a big gamble for Ceres to sign him as he is still recuperating from an injured knee. However, according to a source in the Ceres camp, the club has assured Amani top notched medical care for him to have speedy recovery so that he could be back on the pitch as early as March or even earlier.
But why do the Aguilas want him knowing that his knee is still a suspect? Aguilas owner Jeff Cheng said they want to develop Amani to a local hero. Davao, despite of its disappointing season last year, is a big club with big ambition. Amani is from Davao and he has a big following in Davao.
Davao has signed Fil-Australian Josh Grommen, another center back who ironically played for Ceres last season. It could have been a great paring for the two young defenders in the Aguilas backline.
Gromman a young and tall defender just like Amani remains untested as he had limited playing time with Ceres. But with Davao Aquilas, he is expected to start and that would be a great boast for his career.
As I have said earlier, Amani’s knee is still a suspect. But if he is fit he is a great asset to any team. And what attracts him to Ceres? According to my source, Amani and Ceres have been talking for sometime now.
But in my opinion, Amani as a professional would love to play with the big boys in the Asian football. Since Ceres is playing in the AFC Champions League, hands down, no money could buy that experience. He just grabbed the opportunity.
Davao Aguilas is an ambitious club with pockets as deep or even deeper than Ceres. Their only problem is that they had a bad season last year in spite of the acquisition of some battle tested Azkals like James and Phil Younghusband, Simone Rota, and many more during the mid season.
Will Amani be a signing of the year for Philippine football or will he be a bust? Pressure now will be on him to play well for Ceres. He has to work hard to recuperate early otherwise he will miss many opportunities to play against the big boys of Asian Football.
The Davao Aguilas route could have been an easier way for him. No pressure, loads of money and a chance to be a hero in local in his home city of Davao.
But as of the moment, Aguilas, just like the meaning of the name Amani, just wish that they could sign him (Amani is an arabic name meaning wishes, desire) (l.biantan@gmail.com)

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