Homegrown talent growth on top of Gutierrez agenda as PFF chief
New Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president John Gutierrez faced the media on Friday to lay down initial plans under his term that will run for the next four years.
But among the topics discussed during the two-hour session at Studio 300 in Makati City, Gutierrez was impassioned on the need for homegrown development.
“By the end of my term [in 2027], I wish to close the gap between how the Philippines develops its talent against the rest of the world,” Gutierrez said.
Elected during Saturday’s extraordinary congress as the successor to long-time president Nonong Araneta, Gutierrez made mention of how national teams have a significant number of Fil-foreign players compared to those based locally.
He clarified that the intention is to have homegrowns receive the same training as what those based overseas are getting, and that’s what the new PFF administration would like to fulfill.
“The only reason our national team players are better than local talents is because of the kind of training, the kind of development and the kind of exposure that is afforded to them. And in my administration, that is the gap that I’ll try to bridge,” he said.
Big shoes to fill
New PFF president John Gutierrez says in a portion of this video that he intends to bridge the gap between Fil-foreign players and homegrown talent under his term @INQUIRERSports pic.twitter.com/BTIuZE4rGH
— Jonas Terrado (@jonasterradoINQ) December 1, 2023
“We plan to have a technical team to have a module or curriculum so that kids from Tawi-Tawi have the same training experience as we have from people in Batanes. What we are going to end is the problem of not having the proper program, the proper exposure. I may sound like a broken record, but that’s the reality of it,” added Gutierrez.
The country’s two senior teams, namely the recent Fifa Women’s World Cup debutant Filipinas and the Azkals on the men’s side, have their respective rosters composed mostly of players based on foreign soil.
“Filipinos are Filipinos, whether it’s 1/8, 1/4 or 1/2,” Gutierrez said. “But what we are fighting for is to have more homegrown talents in our national squads.”
Gutierrez will have big shoes to fill after Araneta’s three-term leadership that lasted 13 years witnessed landmark achievements.
Apart from the national team programs, the new PFF head hopes to enhance the local leagues namely the men’s Philippines Football League and the Women’s League.