Star sophomores Val Jurao, Rico Andes ready to be the future of FEU football
Santino Honasan on Feb 20, 2017 07:31 PM
Team captain Val Jurao (29) and Rico Andes (7) have helped the FEU Tamaraws to an impressive 3-0-0 start so far in UAAP men's football.
When FEU took to the pitch for the first time during UAAP Season 79, there were little surprises to what the green and gold squad would look like.
Last season’s team captain Eric Giganto is gone, and key contributor Arnel Amita will be sitting his second season out due to injury.
Still there is former MVP Paolo Bugas, who’s on his last stint with the Tamaraws. Surprisingly though, it wasn’t the Azkals call-up that was wearing the captain’s armband, despite being arguably the most experienced man on the lineup.
Instead, it was sophomore Val Jurao, with his hair bleached blonde, who was sporting the bright orange band on his bicep. New season, new look, new direction for the former back-to-back champs.
“Dalawa yung inspiration diyan, si Neymar at si Messi,” said Jurao when asked about his new do.
As for his new role on the team, Jurao says he just wanted to be one of the guys to take charge.
“Gusto ko lang kasi na mag isa dun sa mga tumutulong na mag-lead ng team, hindi naman ako nag-expect na maging captain-ball,”
Originally supposed to be Bugas, the senior midfielder deferred the responsibility, and it was Jurao, who was handpicked by former long-time coach, “Master” Kim Chul Su.
Now, Jurao embraces the responsibility of being the team’s voice on the field, and says that it has done a lot for his personal development.
“”Ang feeling ko ngayon na ako yung naging captain-ball, naging confident ako ngayon sa field, yung puso ko sa laro naging times two na”
Jurao and fellow second year man Rico Andes, one of last season’s top strikers, are being groomed as the future faces of the FEU football program. So far, Andes has picked up where he left off, scoring thrice so far to help lead the Tamaraws to a 3-0 start.
“Para sa amin, lahat naman may room for improvement, tapos step by step kaming mga lower years,” said the Andes, whose fantastic rookie season made it a clear indicator that he was going to be the Tams’ go-to guy in the coming seasons.
Andes shares that their upper classmen have done their part in reminding them that they’ll be the ones to carry the flag soon.
“Lagi kaming sinasabihan ng mga seniors namin na kami ang papalit sa kanila, mino-motivate nila kami ng maayos, and tinuturing nila kami ng maayos para mas ganado kami in the coming years.”
As for Jurao, his intentions are clear. “Gusto ko lang kasi na mag isa dun sa mga tumutulong na mag-lead ng team.”
While it’s still too early to tell, the 3-0 start is a good indicator of things to come for the Tamaraws, especially since their last season was a forgettable one.
Bugas said after their opening day win against UST that their main goal for the season was to start strong, and with three big wins under their belt so far, it’s safe to say that they’ve accomplished that. The challenge now is to maintain the momentum.
“Ayaw namin mag-draw kasi, gaya ng last season, paano kami mag-peperform sa isang season, dapat maganda yung start,” said Bugas.
While Jurao is the captain, Bugas remains to be the team’s backbone, as well as an outgoing mentor to his juniors. The two-time UAAP champion has done his part by giving Jurao and Andes words of advice before bidding farewell to his collegiate career.
“Maglaro lang kami sa field na may puso, at laruin namin yung laro namin.” Jurao shares what Bugas has told him.
“Si Kuya Pao talaga yung isang player na i-lelead talaga niya yung team, and pagsasabihan ka niya ng maayos, yung mga mali mo i-cocorrect niya, kasi siya yung may pinaka-maraming exposure.” shared Andes. “
Jurao, Andes, lead a crop of talented young guns including the likes of Dominique Canonigo, and Dave Deloso.
If you’ve been watching the Tamaraws dominate the field so far this season, then say hello to the future of FEU football.