Malaya FC U19 earns first YFL title

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 15, 2019 11:09 AM
Malaya FC U19 earns first YFL title
Members of the Malaya FC U19 celebrate their first Youth Football League (YFL) title after defeating Mendiola FC.

MANILA - A rejuvenated Malaya FC U19 fought a gritty tournament to emerge as champions of the second leg of the 2019 Speed Regalo Youth Football League (YFL).

The Born-2001 or later Malaya boys dominated in their November 10 finals match against Mendiola FC, leading 3-0 at half-time and pulling away to 4-0 early in the 2nd half. Mendiola tried to catch up with two goals but there was no looking back for the Malaya boys.

The match played at Circulo Verde Pitch ended at 4 - 2, earning the Malaya FC U19 squad their first YFL championship.

In individual honors, the Golden Glove Award went to keeper Kristian Harald Bumatay, while Most Valuable Player honors went to striker Kieth Absalon, who suited up as defender in the crucial last two matches of the tournament.

On their way to the finals showdown with Mendiola, the boys of U19 coach Marvin Dava battled with the Ceres South, GOM, and Forza squads. The semi-final match with Ceres South that went into 30-minute extra time was particularly intense – with Malaya overcoming a 0-2 deficit before finally winning 9-8 on penalties.

Malaya FC U19 had a challenging start to their 2019 YFL season, ending up in the bottom half of their division after the league’s summer leg. But Dava, who is also Far Eastern University (FEU) assistant coach, has done wonders with the team with his strict and disciplined training regimen.

“There is no shortcut to success,” Dava said – a lesson he has imparted time and again to the U19 team. “The journey is not easy, but it will be worth it.”

Dava worked with Malaya FC keeper coach Roland Sadia in revitalizing the U19 team.

Malaya FC secretary-general Mark Duane Angos said he sees even brighter prospects for the Malaya FC U19 boys, now that they have proven to themselves that they can be winners.

“This is not the end of the road for them in the YFL, especially with the announcement of (YFL) President Mike Atayde that they will open a U21 division soon,” Angos said. 

“We are especially proud of this team for overcoming adversity and challenges and coming out on top. Truly, they played with heart,” said Angos, alluding to Malaya FC’s motto “spiel mit herz” or “play with heart.” 

The Malaya FC U19 squad is composed mostly of senior high school or college athletic scholars from Far Eastern University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Arellano University, and Emilio Aguinaldo College. More than half have been with Malaya FC since their U17 days; with many crediting their Malaya FC training and exposure to various tournaments as instrumental in honing their football skills and bagging a coveted athletic scholarship. 

Malaya Football is a non-profit organization dedicated to using the sport of football for community development. The club gives children from underprivileged communities the chance to learn and play football through free training and participation in highly competitive leagues such as the YFL, the country’s premier football league, as well as local and international tournaments.

Malaya FC is a founding member of the YFL and a member of the Cavite Football Association (CAFA).

Various individuals, organizations, and corporate sponsors such as Cherrylume Brand, Frontrow International, Genesis Transport Service Inc., TELUS International Philippines, Manila Standard, Allianz-PNB Life, Barcino, Mister Donut, Bootcamp Football Shop, Pagcor, and Smart Communications support Malaya FC in its mission of making football accessible to as many kids as possible.

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