Popular British-Filipino Azkal striker siblings Phil and James Younghusband have partnered with their former club, the English Premiere League football club Chelsea, in creating the Chelsea FC Soccer School in the Philippines.
The Philippine school is the third in the region after Hong Kong in 2009 and Malaysia, 2010.
Interaksyon.com reported on May 16 that the soccer school was formally launched at an event held the day prior at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. Aside from the Younghusbands, the launch was also graced by Chelsea's International Development Manager Ian Woodroffe and Managing Director for the Asia Pacific region Adrian New.
“I’m proud and honored to have the Chelsea Soccer School here in the Philippines. It’s a milestone for Philippine football and I’m very proud to have this opportunity,” Phil was quoted as saying by Interaksyon.
The location of the school has yet to be finalized as of this writing.
“We can’t disclose right now but we are in close talks about the possible site of the school. We assure everyone that it will be accessible to everyone,” Phil said.
However, Woodroofe confirmed that Chelsea will be sending coaches from England to “work with the young players.”
Prior, the English football club and the brothers’ Younghusband Football Academy held the Chelsea FC Soccer School Summer Camp in April and May, with the culminating activity coinciding with the school’s launch.
Meanwhile, in the same ABS-CBNNews.com story, New said that they also intend to open schools in Indonesia, Thailand, and South Korea “in the next few months” as part of Chelsea’s ambition to build a soccer school in every Asian country.
gmanetwork.com added that a talent search, dubbed “Search for an Asian Soccer Star,” will also be implemented by Chelsea.
“The club said the talent search ‘is the only initiative of its kind undertaken by a professional football club and is designed to give a much needed boost to Asian participation at all levels of the game,’” the report read.
By JULIEN MERCED C. MATABUENA