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New Philippine football chief wants better homegrown talent development

MANILA, Philippines – New Philippine Football Federation president John Gutierrez said he’s determined to upgrade the talent development program in the country to produce more homegrown players in the national team.

“By the end of my term, I wish to have closed the gap between how the Philippines develops its talents against the rest of the world,” Gutierrez said yesterday in a media briefing.

“The only reason our (Filipino-foreign) national team players are better than local talents is because of the kind of training, development that is afforded them, the kind of exposure.”

Gutierrez, who succeeded longtime president Nonong Araneta this week, is eyeing the formation of a “technical team” to handle not only the national teams but also the grassroots and youth programs.

“We plan for this technical team to come up with a module or a curriculum that we will pass across the country through Department of Education, through Regional Football Associations so that people from Tawi Tawi will have the same developmental module experience as we have from people in Batanes,” he said.

“What we want to end is the problem of not having the proper program, proper exposure.”

Gutierrez, a businessman and executive from the Bukidnon Football Association, intends to “work closely” with the team managers of the Azkals and the Filipinas to make them more competitive.

He was joined by two key persons in his transition team, football legend Freddy Gonzalaez and coach Vince Santos and expanded executive committee member Lovely Mae Tababa, and general secretary Coco Torre in the media gab.