THE San Roque Parish football field in Mandaue City made San Roque the home of Cebu football in the ‘80s up to the ‘90s. Having a pitch where one can easily pick up the game, the kids of San Roque were a class ahead of their peers when it comes to football development. That changed when football became accessible to more and more kids.
Now, there’s no place that one can consider as the home of Cebu football but in the next few years, Inayawan could be it, thanks to a series of extraordinary accidents.
First, when Dynamic Herb applied for permits in Talisay City, thinking their stadium would be under the city that has “Sambody who cares,” it was referred to Inayawan, because it was under its jurisdiction. Second, when a personal matter had Central Visayas Football Association (CVFA) president Rodney Orale in the Barangay Hall, he met Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Jaca Repollo, who had a nephew who played college football.
That led to them discussing a possible futsal program for the barangay, which had two sports complexes. But then the pandemic happened and the unwanted visitor Odette showed up.
Cue in the CVFA U20 Invitational tournament, where Repollo was one of the guests. He was stunned by what he saw at the Dynamic Herb Football Stadium.
“I remember approving the plans but I didn’t expect it would be like this,” he told CVFA officials, among them Jhojo Partosa.
Before becoming a board member of the CVFA, Partosa was the man behind the Inayawan Football Club, which was forced to disband after the field they trained at was bulldozed. Repollo’s meeting with Partosa and Orale revived talks of holding a futsal tournament for Inayawan, which is about to conclude a series of tournaments later this month.
And in a curious coincidence, Inayawan happens to have a top-notch emergency medical team and a world-class ambulance, unlike those converted L300 vans that pretend to be an ambulance.
Where to get a medical team has always been a problem for football organizers and now that problem has been solved. The team was at hand during the CVFA U20 invitationals and though there were a few hiccups due to their unfamiliarity of the game, they were a welcome presence in the tournament.
To help the team, the CVFA is planning to hold a special training for them, so they’d know how and when to react when the ref calls for them and when he or she doesn’t even if there’s a player on the ground screaming for his mama in pain in an Oscar-worthy performance.
And lastly, the Cebu Football Club (CFC) just started its academy and I remember when the club had its first training sessions, there were a few kids peering through the chicken wire, curious about seeing football up close for the first time.
CFC owner Ugur Tasci said their coaches invited the kids for a kickaround and told me that one of his dreams would be to have one of those kids join his academy then eventually graduate to become a CFC player.
With Dynamic Herb hosting games almost weekly in the next three months and the CVFA and Inayawan teaming up for a futsal program, more kids from the barangay will get into the sport.