Ceres FC Faces Tough Test Ahead of AFC Champions League Qualifiers

Reigning AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal champions Ceres Negros FC is facing some tough test ahead of the 2018 AFC Champions League qualifiers against Shan United FC on January 16 at the Taunggyi Stadium in Mayanmar.

Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Doblas and four newly-acquired players offically welcomed by Ceres FC at Delicioso Wine Food Coffee yesterday.* (Photo by Stephen Tan)

Coach Risto Vidakovic in yesterday’s press conference admitted that the team need to work hard in their preparation after commencing training only last Wednesday. “It’s really a tough challenge for the team with the previous season ended quite late and our players have to go on vacation for the holidays,” he said.

Moreover, Vidakovic stressed that despite the team’s new acquisitions, the limited time of their preparation cannot assure how the team will perform in Myanmar. “As of this time, we can’t say who will play. We will see how the team progresses in the next couple of days,” he added.

Newly-signed Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Doblas said that he will try his best to help the team with his international experience. Aside from being a veteran keeper with 349 game appearances, the 37-year-old Bellavista-native also saw action in Supercopa de España, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Meanwhile, national team defenders Amani Aguinaldo and Sean Patrick Kane, who also joined the Ceres FC family, are happy to be part of the country’s best team. Both said that they will work hard in order to fit in the system. However, Aguinaldo admitted that his injury will take him another 5 months or more depending on the progress of his recovery.

Assitant Coach Pepe Losada said that since they have just started their training session, he hoped that everyone will able to go with the system.

Expected to be an additional firepower to the Negrense side, Japanese striker Takumi Uesato said that he is happy to part of the team. The former JPV standout has scored an impressive 15 goals in 14 outings.

Mike Ott, on the other hand, is likewise grateful to join Ceres FC, adding, that his older brother, Manny, is a great influence for his transfer.

With another tight schedules ahead this season, team manager James Dinsay conveyed that the management will always be there to support them. He also thanked all the fans who rallied behind them a successful 2017 season. “I hope that our fans will continue to support us in our quest to bring pride and honor to the province and to the country,” he added.*