Have you heard about the Weekend Futbol League or WFL?
You may have heard it from a friend or two, during open play or perhaps in one of Nico Bolzico’s or Daniel Matsunaga’s posts.
Well the WFL is the next big thing in terms of Football in the National Capital Region. The WFL has been in the Philippines since 2009. Then there were only a handful of teams (one division) such as Nomads Braves, Xavier, British School Manila, Kaya, Superbad, SQS, Mendiola, Manila FC and the likes and even some collegiate teams who competed in the six-month-league.
The community has grown considerably now having five (5) divisions, 1) Vets Division (5 teams), 2) Contenders Division, 3) Challengers Division and 4) Champions Division having eight teams in each category and 5) now the six-team Elite League. (For more on the different leagues visit the site via the link: http://www.weekendfutbol.com/l/fg/1_8777750.html)
With the ninth season about to kick off, what could be better than to kick it with the new Elite League which is also happening parallel with the new National League (PFL). Of course clubs will answer to the call. The league will enforce the foreigner limit rule allowing only four (4) foreigners on the pitch and two on the bench with no rolling substitution. PTV will cover it, which for sure will make thing a bit more exciting.
Two original teams from WFL answered first. Champions Division reigning champs and power house Kaya Elite FC, finally got what they been praying for (a league matching their name). The Manila Tala FC overall WFL Cup Champions, after having an undefeated run the whole season, will look to build on their progress.
Originally Ceres player Jason de Jong’s ZES and Forza FC ambitiously answered back, as well as the armed forces, Air Force and ARMY, both hoping for a comeback which eventually did not happen but perhaps in the next season.
Laos FC the last club to confirm, would be hoping for a bounce back especially after exiting the UFL at the very bottom having played half of their games with nine (9) players in originally what was supposed to be a “pro-league.” Whatever the issues may have been, we hope they are way passed that now.
PFL teams with surplus resources and players decided to reinforce their clubs by having their reserve team join.
Stallions Laguna B will play making the double-robin league more exciting considering it allows the players to have the make-believe PFL experience of traveling down SLEX and playing in the Binan Stadium (after all it is out of NCR and is considered province, Region IV).
Manila Meralco B, another shocking team to respond to the call will be competing. It will be interesting considering the first team has been dominating after having played eight (8) matches in the PFL. For sure Meralco is a massive presence in the country having the Younghusband brothers there and the likes. It will be interesting to see how the reserve team performs. For sure we are hoping for the WFL to be played in the Rizal Memorial Stadium too.
Lastly the Green Archers, formerly known as Globe Green Archers United or simply GAU for short, are based in Zobel Alabang (south of the metro). It will be exciting to see what the teams all have to offer.
There has been chatter of other smaller leagues (very similar) happening around the Metro but not much has materialized. We are pleased to see that so far, we will have an Official NCR FA sanctioned league happening in the region. This is what the rest of the provinces need and the very organized, ever-evolving and growing WFL offers that. Jose Prats, the man with the vision and consistency keeps on providing that.
Some avenues the WFL offers…
- More competitive environments for players transitioning from secondary level education and into university will benefit well from.
- A league for players who want to play at a competitive level but have a family or career to attend to and cannot fully commit to the sport
- Opportunity for the club academy players to compete in with the hopes of breaking into their first team
- Give PFL teams more options in terms of local opponents (like what Global Cebu and JPV Marikina have been doing)
- And of course, a higher level of camaraderie!
We hope this league will continue to develop local talent, provide more jobs, and make football grow exponentially until we reach the major stadiums of football across the globe.
Watch out for the WFL as it kicks off third week of July all the way to December 2017. Stay tuned!
Written by Kaman Lee A. Suleiman
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