FEU men's football standouts contend to raise Philippine flag at FIFA stage

FEU Advocate
March 05, 2024 12:23

Five Far Eastern University (FEU) Booters strived for the opportunity to represent the country in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers as they started off their participation in the first Philippine Men's National Football Team training camp last March 1, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Included in the pool of 34 players competing for roster spots are green-and-gold forwards, Jermi Darapan, Martini Rey, Karl Absalon, and Nickos Mamon, and midfielder Marc Alipoon.

The standouts, with the exception of Mamon, were part of the championship roster last University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85.

With the call-up, the booters earn their first shots to potentially become parts of the national team at the senior level.

In an interview with FEU Advocate, Tamaraw captain Darapan stated his gladness to get another chance to try for the national team after missing his last due to an injury.

"Well, personally, you all know naman na last year, hindi ako nakalaro because of an injury so super blessed sa opportunity na [I will] potentially represent the Philippines again so nakakadagdag sa mental ko na kaya [ko] pa pala (Well, personally, you all know that last year, I didn't get to play because of an injury I feel super blessed with the opportunity that I will potentially represent the Philippines again so it helps with my mental that I can still do it)," he said.

Forward Rey then expressed his pride for FEU as the school with the most representatives in the player pool.

"Masaya kasi hindi lang isa, dalawa, kundi marami kami [sa training camp]. It really shows the quality of FEU sa football kasi, imagine, sa lahat ng UAAP schools, kami 'yung pinakamarami (I'm happy because it's not just one or two but a lot of us in the training camp. It really shows the quality of FEU when it comes to football because, imagine, out of all the UAAP schools, we are the most numerous)," he said.

The Morayta-based booters aspire to become part of the playing lineup in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers that will face Iraq on March 26, at the same venue.

-Vince Matthew Jaramilla

(Photo courtesy of Maria Tan/ABS-CBN News)