Football is a sport that requires nothing but a field and a ball. The football ground does not exactly need to be fancy for the purpose of training. It's amazing how Filipino youth are now giving this sport a chance to help with their active lifestyle.
From the recently concluded Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) 2018 that was held in Munich, Germany, our Philippine representatives Juan Miguel Basmayor and Catherine Angelica Bradborn bagged silver and bronze medals in.
The two were members of the teams that won the silver and bronze medals at a tournament held at Säbener Straße on the last day of the five-day camp attended by 56 young players ages 14 to 16 from 24 different countries.
Basmayor, a former national team player for football, now plays for De La Salle Zobel. Bradborn, on the other hand, a rookie who hails from Pampanga, plays for Luenthai Football Club.
“The kids at the camp were very competitive. They all played to make their country proud. But I had to make sure that despite our cultural differences and the language barrier we understand each other. We speak the same language when it comes to football,” Basmayor said.
For her part, Bradborn showed her determination to continue a career in football and represent the country. “I am only new in the game unlike Basma, but my advantage as a goalkeeper is my height. I have not seen girls who play football with the same height,” said the 16-year old, Filipino-British player who stands at 5’9” tall.
According to Bernadette Pantoja, Allianz PNB Life Vice President for Bancassurance Distribution Partner Head – HSBC, who coached the kids during their stay in the camp, “We are so proud of our AJFC kids, because they were leading their teams in the camp. Their team members were relying on them.”
According to Pantoja, prior to the tournament, the players attended three training sessions in theory and practice, which was led by World Cup winner Klaus Augenthaler, whose 15-year career playing for FC Bayern Munich led to seven Bundesliga titles.
A third representative from the Philippines, Ivy Tapiz from Dipolog joined Basmayor and Bradborn in the Munich camp. Tapiz, an equally talented football player, won the camp’s Robotics activity. The robot designed by Tapiz will be launched in the stratosphere by German astronaut Gerhard Thiele.
The 10th AJFC focused on building ‘confidence’ and ‘trust’ and making a ‘change’.
The camp participants got to see their idols up close during an open training session and meet and greet session, where they landed photos and autographs with the likes of world champion Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Müller and long-serving Bayern captain Oliver Kahn. Other highlights of the camp was a talk by Bastian Schweinsteiger and a live game match at the Allianz Arena, where they watch a live football match between FC Bayern and Chicago Fire.