MANILA, Philippines – Ceres-Negros Football club's (Ceres) midfielder Iain Ramsay is set to move to Thailand, as he signed with newly promoted Prachuap Khiri Khan Football Club for their first season in the Thai League.
In 2016, the Thai League opened its doors to ASEAN players with a new rule that requires each club to take one extra ASEAN player. The new regulation is to be implemented in the 2018 season.
Moving from an AFC CL or CUP 2018 competing team to a 2nd tier Malaysian league does not sound a wise move to me.
FELDA United is one of the richest clubs in Malaysia. Not a smart move but a financially-smart move. Also, he rejected the offer of Prachuap FC, a Thai League 1 (TPL) side. Imagine Ramsay playing in T1 against the likes of Chappuis, Yooyen, or Terens Puhiri. Sadly, Prachuap cannot afford him.
Former A-League star backed by Philippines' army of fans in UAE
Iain Ramsay always dreamed of playing for the Socceroos. Now he's dreaming of playing against them at the Asian Cup, with the support of more than half a million locals in his corner.
It’s a long way from Manila to Dubai, but it won’t feel like it when the Philippines run out on Monday night against tournament favourites South Korea. Eyes on the prize: Iain Ramsay, pictured here during his days with Melbourne City, is representing the Philippines at the Asian Cup.
Ramsay, a former winger for Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Melbourne City in the A-League, is a contender to start what would be his 29th match for the Philippines, who he has represented since 2015.
The Azkals are making their Asian Cup debut in the United Arab Emirates - and aside from the Philippines itself, there could be no better place to do so. Filipinos are everywhere.
At last count there were nearly 700,000 of them living and working in the UAE, plus plenty more undocumented, taking advantage of tax-free earnings, a favourable exchange rate and a seemingly insatiable demand for jobs.
For years they have played a vital role in building this country. You can't check into a hotel or go to a restaurant without being served by a Filipino expat, but many are branching out into the professional sector these days. Assuming they can get time off work, the Philippines will be one of the most well-supported teams at the Asian Cup.
I was really surprised how many Filipinos there were, working in the malls. They know straight away when they see us, it's the Azkals. Iain Ramsay on the Filipino population in the UAE
"It's unbelievable, how many Filipinos you see over here," said Ramsay, who recently signed for Thai outfit Sukhothai after stints with Malaysia's Felda United, Filipino powerhouse Ceres-Negros and Tractor Sazi in Iran. "I remember coming out to the UAE for the first time - football-wise, anyway - in 2015.
"I was really, really surprised how many Filipinos there were, working in the malls. They know straight away when they see us, it's the Azkals. It's nice to have a bit of support over here."
Born in Sydney to a Scottish father and Filipino mother, Ramsay had always hoped to play for Australia. For a while when he was at the peak of his powers in Adelaide, he thought a knock at the door wasn’t far away.
It never came, but the Philippines had already been pounding away at it for years. When Asia's last World Cup qualifying process began, Ramsay finally relented and linked up with the Azkals. He hasn't looked back since.
Ramsay had always kept in touch with his heritage through family holidays back to the Philippines when he was a child. His mother has six sisters, and all of them were beaming with pride when he made his international debut against Bahrain. Cup.
The Philippines are coached by one of world football's most iconic and well-travelled managers, Sven-Goran Eriksson, who Ramsay has been trying his best to impress since he took over the job in late October.
The Azkals, ranked No.116 in the world, aren't expected to do too much damage at their first Asian Cup. But if by some miracle they can qualify for the next round, it's a live possibility that they might meet the Socceroos. Ramsay is great mates with a number of players in Graham Arnold's squad.
"Football's a funny game, you never know what can happen," he said. "It'd mean a lot for me to play against the Socceroos."
If it happens, it'd be the latest chapter in what is quickly becoming an intense sporting rivalry between Australia and the Philippines.
Here's where Ramsay stands on the last few instalments: he thought Manny Pacquiao was robbed of victory against Jeff Horn, he reckoned the infamous 'basket-brawl' involving the Boomers was a disgrace and an embarrassment for Filipinos, and he was not the least bit surprised when his old Ceres-Negros teammates stunned Brisbane Roar in an AFC Champions League qualifier last year.
"No team can be taken lightly but seeing the numbers fall off the back of Brisbane's shirts, for me it was very surprising," Ramsay said. "I knew how professional it is in the A-League so it wasn't nice to see. But they got a bit of a shock at the football Ceres play."
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
truman: lowkey cringe sa conyoness ng PPL FB page.
Apr 8, 2019 10:11:23 GMT 8
truman: sad day for philippine football
Apr 27, 2019 13:22:38 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: Why I like UAAP football, no more extra games for seeding.Makes me think about European efficiency. Wish gayahin din sa basketball (very sketchy tiebreakers), like Euroleague.
May 8, 2019 14:02:35 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: Negros Occidental footy fans, expect more football this 2019, now that a San Carlos native is governor.
May 14, 2019 2:05:22 GMT 8
Jun 9, 2019 18:39:47 GMT 8
@BoyBacolod: Hamak na mungkahi lang. Mabuti siguro kung maipromote ulit ang larong sipa. Daming maling sa sipa na mga bata, mabuting transistion for futsal, kung hindi regular football. Parang sa Thailand, sepak takraw, o chinlone sa Myanmar.
Jul 24, 2019 19:12:53 GMT 8
bluedevil2k8: guys please support the across the line podcast
Sept 16, 2019 19:18:16 GMT 8
papajamba: listening now to simone rota - across the line podcast
Sept 16, 2019 23:48:32 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: As long as Ricky Yanson is professional to Ceres FC and extends support to the Azkals in general (Ceres Azkals in particular) during home games, he can be PFF president in my book. Much better will be reconciling with Leo, though that idea is Farfetch'd.
Sept 21, 2019 23:07:36 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: Kaya fans wishing that Ricky Yanson wins the PFF presidency is akin to GMA fans wishing that Congress and President Duterte will not renew ABS-CBN's franchise.
Oct 24, 2019 21:10:39 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: We will wait for the basketball and volleyball ASEAN teams and then we compare their reception to that given to the football delegations, where ALL ASEAN nations participate. Now there will be foreign scrutiny in every move of PHISGOC.
Nov 24, 2019 23:20:26 GMT 8
BoyBacolod: DDS trolls underestimated the SEA football community. Having no prior exposure to football culture, they dismiss any and all so-called sabotages as destabilization plots, to the point that they do not support the teams, especially the women.
Nov 27, 2019 15:25:36 GMT 8
Passerby: That's awkwardly worded.
Mar 6, 2020 21:09:41 GMT 8
Jun 3, 2020 11:29:52 GMT 8
nil: anyone have any ADT FC's contact?
Jun 3, 2020 11:30:08 GMT 8