AMID the bustling mall was a sight that Phil and James Younghusband thought they’d never see—an interactive football event drawing not just sports fans but even curious onlookers.
The famous football brothers, who had toiled with the national team even before the sport’s rapid rise here, knew that it was just a matter of time before football gets the same love in this basketball-crazy nation.
“We’ve always said it won’t happen overnight,” said Phil.
“Football here has changed a lot,” added James. “There’s possibly a future in the sport when there was none before.”
Among those plans that finally came to fruition is the Chelsea FC Soccer School Philippines, a football academy officially launched in the country yesterday at the SM Mall of Asia activity center.
“It’s great to see them (Younghusbands) help develop the sport here in the Philippines,” said Ian Woodroffe, the international development manager of Chelsea. “This is a long-term project. We’re not here for two weeks, then just disappear. We’re looking forward to develop new programs and projects.”
Also in the works is a “Blue Pitch,” a permanent location similar to the soccer schools Chelsea launched in Hong Kong and Malaysia.