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Blog ► Hail to the Chieffy


We live in an opinionated world and if people have agreed with your every idea all your life, you’re missing out on the knowledge-rich insight that dissenting thought provides.

Of course, there are times when a thought or idea pops out and there’s really no debating around it. You just have to agree.

Like, for instance, the looming interim captaincy of Chieffy Caligdong.

The captain’s position was made vacant after long-time Azkals rock Aly Borromeo was booked a second time in the second leg of the squad’s home-and-away series against Sri Lanka, which the country won, 5-1, on aggregate.

Azkals coach Michael Weiss has already said Chieffy’s going to wear the armband for the PH-Kuwait first leg on July 23 in the Gulf nation. People have already assumed it’s going to be Chieffy who will take Aly’s place for one match. Heck, Chieffy’s been co-skipper for the longest while anyway. And besides, nobody else is exactly volunteering for the job.

Manager Dan Palami, the guy who single-handedly resuscitated the Azkals before the squad went on a historic run and drew the attention and support of other benefactors, is playing it coy.

“It could be Chieffy,” he told the Inquirer’s Cedelf Tupas, who a football legend hereabouts described as the best football journalist in the country today. “We’ll see how the training goes and it depends who shows the maturity required of a captain.”

Well yeah, there’s that. But Chieffy aced that part, too.

A dark cloud loomed over the Azkals recently when, amid reports that the Younghusband siblings argued over who should take a penalty in that 4-0 second leg trashing of Sri Lanka, a TV station floated news of cracks within the team, specifically between pure locals and those born and/or raised abroad.

Its an issue that’s been brewing beneath the surface. After all, the cultural divide will ultimately lead players to gravitate to teammates they can relate to and understand when they’re off the pitch. And anyone from the outside looking in could interpret that as rank-forming.

But not only did Chieffy not issue a vague denial that would have fanned the controversy even more, he quelled the issue by nipping it in the bud.

“We talked about that,” Chieffy said in Filipino. “We had a meeting and we told each other that we’re all here for one goal.”

And with that, talks of a division quieted. At least for now.

On the field and off it, Chieffy has shown enough savvy that proves his worth as co-captain.

A dissenting opinion on Chieffy Caligdong named captain for the Kuwait match first leg? Don’t think there’ll be one.

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FULLTIME is an Inquirer sports blog edited by By Francis T.J. Ochoa.The views stated here do not reflect those of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tags: 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers , Aly Borromeo , Azkals , Chieffy Caligdong , Dan Palami , Hans Michael Weiss , James Younghusband , Kuwait , Phil Younghusband , Philippines , Sports , Sri Lanka

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