A couple of days ahead of their match against Shan United of Myanmar in the preliminary (Round 1) of the AFC Champions League 2018, Ceres-Negros FC key player Stephan Schrock said their focus is on delivering a good performance against the host team.
In an interview posted in the AFC website, Schrock said he is proud of representing the country in the AFC Champions League and he considers it as “another milestone for Philippines football”.
When asked on his assessment of Shan United, the Fil-German player said that as champions in Myanmar, the host team must be good but he would rather focus on Ceres' strengths and game since “this is the only thing that matters.”
“We are not overlooking them, but I think we have enough quality to beat them at club leve and also with the national team,” Schrock when pressed to give his impressions of Myanmar football teams.
He said he considers 2017 as the greatest year in Philippine football with Ceres winning the AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Championship.
“It is something that maybe will not be achieved in the next 10 to 15 years by a Filipino club team,” Schrock said.
“People will fully understand the importance of what we achieved in the coming years. We had to overcome a lot of adversity to win the PFL – the club's players and management became a big family and it gives us so much confidence for 2018,” he added.
He acknowledged that for this year, a lot of goals and work await The Busmen.
“We want to try to win the league again. To get as far as possible in the AFC Champions League of AFC Cup. There will be the Singapore Cup, which we want to win,” Schrock said.
He believes that Ceres-Negros right now has the “golden generation of Philippines football” with the presence of talented players in their lineup.
However, to advance to the Round 2 of the AFC Champions League Preliminary, Ceres need to beat Shan United the reigning champions in Myanmar.
Founded in 2005, the team previously appeared at the now defunct AFC President's Cup in 2008 and 2009.
While it finished fifth in 2015 and 2016 in the Myanmar Nationa Leauge, The Shan Warriors won the national title last year by beating Yangon United.
The team has in its lineup several Myanmar internationals, among them, is national team goalkeeper and captain Thiha Sithu, who kept 14 clean sheets in their league-winning campaign.
Shan United also has e Nigerian striker Christopher Chizoba, top-scored for the team with 15 goals.*NAB
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