Home Stadium: Davao del Norte Sports Complex, Tagum City, Davao del Norte
Club Info: Davao Aguilas is the only Mindanao-based club to see action in the Philippines Football League. Although still in its first season as a club, DAFC is determined to contend in the PFL, while giving players from Mindanao the opportunity to play for the club at the highest level.
Biantan: Aguilas FC lucky to have Jefferson Cheng Monday, April 10, 2017 By JACK BIANTAN BIG JACK
JEFFERSON Cheng owns the Davao Aguilas Football Club (FC) that will represent Mindanao in the Philippine Football League (PFL). The PFL will be launched on the 20th while the first match will be on the 29th. The schedule will be announced later.
All matches will be televised live over the government owned station PTV 4.
The Aguilas FC are very lucky to have Cheng as team owner. Not only that he has deep pockets, he has also a football heart. He has been the longtime supporter of the Philippine Under 16 and the Under 19 teams. He is also part owner of one of the Australia’s top football club Western Sydney Wanderers FC, a club that plays in Australia’s top tier the A-League. The Wanderers captured the A-League title in its first season and bagged the AFC Champions League title the following year. He is also a member of the International Goalkeepers Academy, a school for young goalkeepers run by Jim Fraser. Jim Fraser played for the Socceroos during his prime.
He was in Davao with Cheng when the Aguilas was introduced to the Philippine media two weeks ago. Cheng also brought with him veteran Australian coach Gary Philips to head the coaching staff of the Aguilas. Right now the Aguilas are busy building up for the coming season.
They have recruited players from all over Mindanao to inspire Mindanao kids to play the beautiful game.
They are also bringing in five foreign players to beef up the team. Aside from the Aguilas, seven other clubs will join the first season of the PFL. They are the Ceres Negros FC, Global Cebu FC, JP Voltes Marikina, Kaya Makati FC, Stallions Laguna FC, and Vigan FC.
The Philippine Football Federation has pegged $500,000 as franchise fee payable in five years for the clubs. Any investor from Cagayan de Oro for the 2018 season?
The life of an Australian soccer coach is not for the faint-hearted - just ask Mark Jones, or Gary Phillips by Michael Cockerill
Exhibit A: Gary Phillips. Survivor. Indeed the 53-year-old wouldn't look out of place rubbing two sticks together in the mangroves of the Cook Islands. A lean, mean, fighting machine.
One day's notice. That's all he got to catch a flight from Coffs Harbour to Davao, a hotbed of crime and terrorism in southern Philippines, as he jumped back on the roller-coaster that has been his coaching career for the past 18 years. Yet to crack it in the A-League, despite coaching Sydney Olympic to a championship in the NSL, Phillips learnt long ago that he had to stay on the move if he hoped to stay employed. And he has.
Davao Aguilas are one of eight teams in the inaugural Filipino pro league, which kicks off on April 29. Backed by Western Sydney Wanderers part-owner Jefferson Chang, the club enjoys the patronage of Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, the former mayor of Davao who "fine-tuned" his infamous vigilante "justice" in his hometown. Dangerous? "I feel safe there," says Phillips.
Riding around town in Chang's bullet-proof SUV helps, not that Phillips has ever shied away from third-world challenges. "Coaching hasn't made me rich, but it's given me rich experiences." The moral to the story.
Phillips's odyssey includes Malaysia, Vietnam, Tonga and Papua New Guinea. In Tonga, his love of surfing helped soften blow of trying to coach a national team which wasn't motivated. "On the day I arrived the general manager told me not to expect anything, which was just as well," he says. "I'd be lucky if the staff would turn up once a week, and that was usually to get out the push mowers to cut the grass for the weekend."
Malaysia – where he's worked as an instructor for the Asian Football Confederation and in the second division with Sabah and Negeri Sembilan – was more professionally rewarding, as was his time with Da Nang FC in Vietnam. PNG, where he coached the national women's team? Home was a miner's compound in Lae, the room was spartan but clean. There was a 2.5-metre perimeter fence topped with barbed wire, guard dogs, officers with machine guns. Phillips might jog the kilometre to the training ground during the day, but in the evening he'd be escorted home.
Home is still Sawtell, the beachside village near Coffs Harbour where he grew up. His longest stretch without employment has been 18 months, but it's never been easy. Phillips has had to sell two houses to get through, and has worked as a lifeguard, surf shop assistant, baggage handler and gas deliverer to help put food on the table.
So why does he do it? "Because it's in my blood, it's what I do best, and if you want to do your best you have to love what you do."
Phillips does that, although it's always been a toss-up between football and surfing. He almost turned pro as a surfer before heading down south to join Sydney Olympic as a teenager. Only last year he won the Australian over-50s surfing title. It's why he's still so conditioned. "Out in the water, that's where I clear my head."
For all his vast and broad experience – he played 356 games in the NSL and won a championship with Brisbane Strikers – Phillips is still waiting for his A-League breakthrough. Twelve months ago he gave Jones a job as his assistant at Negeri Sembilan. But when Jones took over the Jets, he didn't return the favour. Sliding doors.
"I don't know if it's because I didn't play in Europe, or I'm considered old school, but I haven't given up on the A-League," he says. "I believe in myself, I've had success wherever I've gone, so you just have to think your time will come." Regrets? "Nope. I'd do it all over again."
That's what counts. Despite the FFA's grand plan to triple the number of coaches, there's no sign there'll be more opportunities. Thus Phillips epitomises the most important quality of all. Perserverance.
PR from Davao Aguilas -- They're ready for the PFL!
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With much anticipation, the Davao Aguilas is set to embark on its maiden journey to prove itself as a team to contend with in the debut season of the Philippine Football League 2017. Despite the many challenges that the club faced in forming its team, from the acquisition of players both local and foreign to the organizational structure of the club, the DAFC has managed to posture itself in fighting form.
Having only been formally established in January of this year, DAFC has truly made head way. To begin with, the club has landed the services of head coach Mr. Gary Philips. A veteran in Australian football, coach Gary will contribute heaps of professional football experience to the club. Alongside coach Gary is his Aussie mate, who happens to be a renowned world cup goalkeeper for Australia in 1974 and Football Federation Hall of Famer, coach James “Jimmy” Fraser has also stepped up to the plate as DAFC goalkeeper coach.
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DAFC didn’t stop with these two reputable foreign coaches. They are backed by local coaches who hails from Davao. Seasoned coaches Melchor Anzures, Ramonito “Lalas” Carreon and Ronoel Garfin has proven to be a strong compliment to Coach Gary and Coach Jim.
Davao Aguilas is spearheaded by local players with the likes of central defender Jason Cordova, attacker John Nico Macapal, veteran goalkeeper Kim Versales, Baguio native Junell Bautista and Philippine Azkals standout, Nate Burkey,
DAFC also signed up Davao and Mindanao players. We have U22 mainstays Van Rey Diaz, and Richard Talaroc of Misamis Oriental. In the roster are also young talents Princeton Josue, Davao goalkeeper Roeder Ignacio and Tagum native Alexis Cabistante. Youth players Mujer Sumail, Amir Amaikurut, and Kahlil Jikiri.
UFL players John Philip De Los Santos, John Resty Gumban, Gerald Layumas, Jay-Ar Bucayan, Stephen Burda, and Franco De La Torre reinforces the team .
We shall also see many new names and faces in the players that the Davao Aguilas acquired. International division players like midfielder Dylan De Bruycker, a Fil-foreign baller from Belgium. Other members of the team include Serbian goalkeeper Marko Trkulja, striker Nikola Grubjesic, defender Milos Krstic, and Australian winger Brad MacDonald, Fil-American right wing Omar Khan, attacker Gilmar Fernandez-Lynch, midfielder Andreas Esswein, complete the line-up.
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DAFC CEO Ramon “Chito” Manuel notes “This will be a very steep climb for the Aguilas. But, we are well prepared to reach the top and with the unwavering support and commitment of Davao Aguilas FC Chairman Mr. Jefferson Cheng Davao Aguilas FC has a very bright future ahead.”
“We would like to invite all people who hail from Davao and Mindanao to support our very own Professional Football Club, Davao Aguilas FC. We ask you to be with us to complete this journey to bring Mindanao to the forefront of Philippine Football and put Davao and Mindanao on the World Football Map. We are a new club, we are the underdogs, but we promise you, like the spirit of the Mindanao people, the Aguilas will always be strong and courageous to fight hard and no matter what the odds are we will play to win in every game” says DAFC Chairman Jefferson Cheng.
Indeed, the Davao Aguilas Football Club has come a long way in a very, very short period. Now we shall witness the club’s first match of the season in the PFL against Ilocos United FC away on May 7 with a 4pm kick off at Quirino Stadium in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. A very interesting first game because both teams are newcomers. One may ask, are they ready for the big league? The answer: A big YES! And it shall be proven on their first match. Sukol Aguilas!
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Davao Aguilas FC Hosts Another Packed Football Match Against Ilocos United FC NEXT MATCH WILL BE AGAINST GLOBAL CEBU FC ON JUNE 28 AT DAVAO DEL NORTE SPORTS COMPLEX
26 JUNE 2017 - TAGUM, DAVAO DEL NORTE: Davao Aguilas Football Club (DAFC), heavily supported by San Miguel Corporation, hosted another packed football match in its home turf. Its match vs. Ilocos United Football Club (IUFC) was its third home game, and all three (3) games have generated an attendance of at least twelve thousand (12,000) football spectators.
Celebrities and sports personalities such as Asec. Mocha Uson, the Mocha Girls, the Malditas Philippine Women’s National Football Team were all seen in the crowd wearing Davao Aguilas shirts.
Malditas players Cam Rodriguez and Nona Amoncio both said in a Fox Sports Asia interview, “We’re both here, along with the team to support Davao Aguilas FC.”
The match ended with a score of 0-0.
Its next match will be on June 28, at 4 p.m. against Global Cebu FC. The match will be held also at Davao del Norte Sports Complex.
Davao Aguilas Football Club, was established earlier this year as a professional football club, based out of Tagum, Davao del Norte, in Mindanao. Its mission is to help develop football in Davao and the whole of Mindanao. The coaching staff is headed by Gary Philips, an Australian football veteran, while DAFC’s Chairman is Jefferson Cheng. The club’s lead sponsor is San Miguel Corporation. Expect more from Davao Aguilas FC as they take part in Philippines Football League (PFL) this season!
PFL: Davao Aguilas X Shonan Bellmare, a first in Philippine football
Davao Aguilas FC has partnered with Shonan Bellmare of the J League in what is considered a historic milestone for Philippine football.
Davao Aguilas FC sent shockwaves to the rest of the teams in the Philippines Football League with this landmark partnership. The first of it’s kind in the country, the J-League’s Shonan Bellmare FC has signed a long term partnership with Mindanao’s only professional football club. As part of this new relationship the Aguilas will now be known as Davao Aguilas Bellmare FC helping solidify the influence of the Japanese club in the country.
International partnerships are nothing new for the Japanese as the J League has existing partnerships with Thailand’s and Vietnam’s top domestic leagues. But a club to club relationship is something new, a first in the country. The partnership between the two teams has been formed so that Davao and Shonan can cooperate in the areas of coaching, players scouting, youth development, and football marketing. Shonan will be helping Davao setup their youth academy some time next year. It is also understood that Shonan and Davao will be playing friendlies annually both here and in Japan. This can only benefit Davao in the future and is a show of their chairman’s ambition. Davao has also announced a 12 hectare facility being constructed in Mandu, Buhangin district in Davao. The new facility will house a 20,000-seater stadium for the first team, a state of the art training center with FIFA certified artificial and natural grass pitches, a dormitory for players and a 3 star hotel for fans and visitors. It’s also not just for football as a 12,000-seater multi-sport stadium will be included as well.
But what does this mean for Davao and possibly the rest of the PFL? Davao’s partnership with Shonan means a pipeline for both Bellmare franchises. Davao will benefit from the more advanced coaching and technical knowhow of the J League side while Shonan will have marketing benefits from the exposure that they will receive in Mindanao. Shonan can also send talented youngsters in need of game time to Davao for some much needed match experience while Davao’s own youth prospects can also benefit by training with the J League team during the PFL offseason; Much like how Albirex Niigata does it with their own B Team in the S League.
If other PFL teams follow suit, it could be a massive boost both to the level of play on the field and through a marketing standpoint. An example would be Ceres Negros. Their consistent form and a good existing setup will be an attractive proposition to potential partners if they decide to follow Davao’s footsteps. Ceres’ roster of talented players almost ensures them of an Asian Champions League qualifying slot every year. This will give their potential partners an incentive to send players to Ceres on loan as they play on a good level and will aid in their youngsters development if Ceres plays continental football which is a high chance every year. Other teams not in the running for continental spots could still use the appeal of giving game time to fringe players and youngsters and still play at a decent level and boost their brand in the country. Unlike Albirex Niigata in Singapore, all the teams in the PFL have their respective shot in qualifying for ACL and AFC Cup tournaments as all the teams follow AFC guidelines.
Davao Aguilas Bellmare FC’s statement of intent is very clear, they want to be the very best in the country, and all these developments help cement that claim. It’s up to the rest of the league to step up and match Davao’s ambition.
That's completely unfortunate. I'd like to know what the story is. From the previous stories I thought this was a long-term commitment from the owners. With the investments and moves they've made it sure looked like it. My gut feeling is that the owners were just not that committed in the first place. Growing a football team at this time is like growing a grassroots movement -- not for the faint of heart. The owners should've known this before going in.
Feels like a complete con job. I'll wait for the story, but that's what it feels like.
Pissed: Kahit gustuhin natin makabuo ng team, hindi pa pwede for now dahil sa UAAP season. Surely Gayoso will join the selection, pero ang ibang UAAP players need to be cleared. Hopefully the NCAA based players are ready. Passports is another issue.
Jan 28, 2019 21:27:16 GMT 8
truman: Unpopular opinion: Global FC should just stick with youth football. Build up your club again (and also reputation) dont force yourselves to join the league.
Feb 5, 2019 12:07:17 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: I am amused at the current spat of Ceres and Kaya fans, though I say Kaya fans had it coming. It also an example of a trait lacking in government, that thing called "foresight".
Feb 8, 2019 18:00:51 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: The Iloilo Provincial government need to get their act together. Now the Neg. Occ. government is at full support of football, especially the vice-governor, who was mayor of San Carlos, another football hotbed, who might be governor in July.
Feb 8, 2019 21:45:08 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: Sa mga Kaya fans na nagsasabing baka one game lang sa Panaad, basa sa AFC Cup 2019 Regulations, section 16.2.
Feb 9, 2019 12:18:26 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: With the Visayas making a name for itself in football,it really puts a dent on 'Imperial Manila' basketball mentality. Better football facilities, and the Visayan cities can make a name for themselves internationally.
Feb 22, 2019 12:47:40 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: NCR had for so long relied on Palaro players from provinces to boost their lineups. It is high time that VISAYAS should own football. In Negros I think it will a step closer since the vice-governor running for the top post is a football supporter.
Feb 22, 2019 12:58:13 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: what lol 😋
Feb 23, 2019 12:57:25 GMT 8
truman: keep ting on basketball, mate. accept it, we can't cope up with its popularity. Dont hate on the sport. Blame PFF for not marketing the sport well enough.Now that the Philippines is in the FIBA World Cup, it would be a loooot harder for ustogainsupport
Feb 25, 2019 0:44:10 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: If some UAAP or NCAA schools will join the new league in one form or another, it may remove the gap between U22s and seniors. The schools can devise a system akin to sports academies, education is important after all.
Feb 28, 2019 18:16:35 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: Will the PFL be like the San Marino league system, where there are no so-called "home" stadiums.
Mar 2, 2019 12:39:19 GMT 8
leoisiah: Gibraltar also has a single stadium for their league.
Mar 12, 2019 8:27:57 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: Rules are rules are rules. The two clubs should have known better. They are given loads of time to act on it. And to those who say PFF sucks, sometimes they do but one thing they are consistent is sticking to the rules.
Mar 25, 2019 10:42:16 GMT 8
truman: Agree @boybacolod
Mar 25, 2019 14:49:21 GMT 8