UAAP 81 Football: Under new head coach, Adamson off to a promising start
Santino Honasan on Feb 17, 2019 01:04 PM
Under new head coach Arvin Soliman, it looks like the long-struggling Adamson Falcons are headed for an upward trend
Since making their UAAP football debut back in UAAP Season 77, the Adamson University football program hasn't found much success, with only two wins, four draws, and 10 points to show in 56 games throughout four seasons.
In three of their first four season, the Soaring Falcons have been effectively grounded, finishing dead last in the standings. In that one other season, they finished seventh.
Simply put, getting points isn't easy for the San Marcelino-based squad.
Sunday morning in the opening match of the UAAP Season 81 Men's Football tournament however, Adamson found themselves on the board after just their first game of the season after salvaging a 1-1 draw against National University.
Down one goal with about eleven minutes remaining in the match, it was an all-too familiar position for Adamson, but this time around, the Soaring Falcons caught a break after a handball violation from NU resulted in a penalty opporunity, which they did not squander.
Now with a point to show after just one match played, new head coach Arvin Soliman sees a lot of promise in this hungry Adamson squad.
"Ang masasabi ko diyan, they improved a lot, they improved a lot from last season, because we worked on that papunta dito sa preparation," Soliman told the media after the match. "I’m satisfied sa pinakita nilang game today against NU, but unfortunately, nag-draw lang, pero sa amin yung game nung first half."
"We had a lot of attempts, actually, clear attempts doon,..I’m happy doon sa performance nila." he added.
Soliman will be taking the place of long-time Adamson head coach Nolan Manito, who mentored the squad for their first four UAAP seasons.
According to him, this Adamson side is ready to hang with the seven other squads in the tournament.
"The mindset of this team is, we are going to compete this season," Soliman stated. "Talagang they are pushing themselves during our training, talagang papunta, ahead of this first game namin, ang mindset namin is we get the three points, but yun nga, unfortunately, nakuha lang namin ay one point, but that is a good start. We showed that we improved this season, for UAAP 81."
Soliman, a Los Baños-native and a product of the College of Saint Benilde, is bringing years of experience to the Adamson program, having previously served as a coach for Letran Calamba and an assistant coach to Filipino football icon Chieffy Caligdong in the Under-15 National Team.
He also currently serves as an assistant coach for the Green Archers United FC club.
For Soliman, the first order of business was to shake things up within the team, and as he explained, it began with organization.
"First, we corrected yung organization, then pag-correct namin ng organization, we go for the individual, yung disiplina nila, sinabi namin kung ano yung mga responsibilidad nila papunta dito sa season na ‘to, and during training, they have to give 100 percent."
Soliman added that he puts a premium on his players' effort, even in training, being a firm believer that the hard work one puts in practice will be reflected in-game.
"In my coaching, ayoko yung nag-rerelax na players, so everytime we have a training, we are pushing them to their limit kasi naniniwala ako na what we do in our practices, in our training, yun yung mangyayari sa game, so kung mag-rerelax ka sa training, sa game parang ganun lang din," he elaborated further.
"During our training, we need to push them para sa game, para lang kaming nagpa-practice."
The opening day draw was indeed a promising start for a team as hungry as Adamson, but there's still a long way to go, and to be able to sustain the improvement, Soliman notes that there are still a handful of things to address moving forward.
Well [madami pang kailangang ayusin], lalo na yung huling part, kasi bumigay kami doon, and the substitution siguro. Malaking factor yung pasok namin ng players, and of course yung players’ individual responsibilities, kasi nung nag-sub kami, nakalimutan na nila yung responsibilities nila., and then we have to polish pa our organization."
While obviously, one match is a really small sample size of the Falcons' overall improvement, splitting points in their first match of the season is certainly a good start.