“This is our home, we have to work hard.” - Global FC’s Bahadoran
Santino Honasan on Feb 24, 2015 07:39 PM
Just a day before their historic 2015 AFC Cup opening match with Hong Kong’s South China AA, ABS-CBN Sports caught up with Global FC’s team captain and Azkals member Misagh Bahadoran to talk about the upcoming tournament and what it means for the Filipino club.
ABS-CBN Sports: How big is it for Global FC to be representing the Philippines in the 2015 AFC Cup?
Misagh Bahadoran: Of course, this is the first time that the Philippines will be represented in the AFC Cup, it’s the first time that a club, Global FC, will be representing the Philippines, and it’s such an honor that we are considered as the best club in the Philippines. The AFC Cup is the biggest tournament, next to the AFC Champions League. It’s like we are representing the country, we are playing for the Philippines, so this is going to be very important, and it’s going to be very big for us.
AS: How is the team feeling, going into this big first game?
MB: Of course, we are so excited, because a lot of the players have not yet had a chance to play in an international game, and this is the first time that they’ll be playing in an international level. This is very impressive, given that the Philippines has never played in the AFC Cup, and as a club, it’s a very important thing to happen to Philippine football.
AS: Being a player who’s been with the Azkals for years, and having a lot of international experience, do you consider yourself as leader for the club?
MB: Since I’ve been playing for the Azkals for three years and I’ve had so many international games, I have this kind of experience already, facing the crowd and different atmospheres like this, but we have so many players in Global FC that are representing national teams also, but there are also new players there, so we have to lead them. We have to push them and motivate them to do better because for sure, they will be a little bit excited for this kind of tournament.
AS: For you, how different it going to be, playing in the UFL and playing in the AFC Cup?
MB: It’s going to be a big difference in the UFL and in the AFC Cup, because these are the best teams of the different countries. It’s not easy for us to play against these kinds of teams because we’re used to playing against local teams, it’s going to be on a different level. We will adjust for sure, we’ll give our 100 percent, and we’ll see what’s gonna happen.
AS: How has the team been preparing, leading up to the game?
MB: We were training hard, working hard technically and physically, but the problem is we had a little bit of injuries because the games were so intense in the last Smart-PFF cup, we only had ten days, we reached the semifinals and then the finals, we had so many injuries. I myself am injured, tomorrow’s going to be my first game after two or three weeks, so we’ll see what’s gonna happen.
AS: Any nerves going in, any pressure?
MB: Of course there’s pressure, but there’s no nervousness. We’re used to this, but if I didn’t have this kind of injury right now, I have a hamstring injury, I hope I can give a hundred percent tomorrow.
AS: What are your expectations for tomorrow’s game?
MB: The Hong Kong team did not come here to lose. They came here, and it’s very important for them to score here because it’s going to affect the home and away games. This game is gonna be very intense, we have to do a hundred percent. This is our home, we have to work hard and not let them win, they should not score. The game is going to be very intense and very hard, and we hope that the Filipinos will come and support us!
Support Misagh and the rest of Global FC as they represent the Philippines against Asia’s best football clubs in the 2015 AFC Cup! Catch Global FC’s opening match against Hong Kong’s South China AA this Wednesday, February 25 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium! Coverage begins at 7:45 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports + Action channel 23!