The 14th Annual Kids for Christ IKV conference was held from May 6, 2011 until May 8, 2011. This involves a series of competitions, presentations and workshops for children of Gawad Kalinga villages. We represented Metro Manila Central A for the football tournament on May 6. This year the event was held in PICC. It was a very fun conference with participants from all around the Philippines. Despite the oppressive sun, our relative inexperience and giving up lots of size, Central A was able to earn 1st Runner Up status. The tournament was set up in a knockout status with winners advancing to the next round. Games were played with 10 minute halves and were 7 a side.
Game 1 vs. Zambales
The first half ended up in a 0-0 draw despite us holding the majority of the possession. The boys continued being aggressive and were rewarded when Matt scored a nice deflected goal. Buoyed by finally having the lead Renzo, Nilo and Roddell also scored before Matt scored his second goal. Sherwin who was a steadying hand as GK also got into the scoring column with a strong penalty kick to end the game at 6-0.
Game 2 vs. Batangas
Still fresh off of their resounding opening win, the boys draw an early penalty which was well taken by Matt for the opening goal. The game ended 7-0 with Matt again scoring while Renzo got a hat trick. Sherwin scored his second career goal while Nilo also got into the act. The team advanced to the Championship game to face the winner between Cebu and Big West
Game 3 vs Big West
Big West is the defending champion in IKV and is known as the powerhouse in Gawad Kalinga football. The boys were determined to win the title for Central A. Matt scored the first goal of the game within the first minute, the first goal conceded by Big West in the tournament. Big West responded with 3 goals before the half. Despite trailing for the first time all tournament, the boys still believed that they could win the game. Nilo scored the second goal on a beautiful rebound effort as Renzo’s initial goal was adjudged to have not yet crossed the line. Nilo refused to give up on the play and played until the whistle was blown. In this case the whistle was not blown until Nilo scored a goal. Unfortunately Big West was able to score a fourth insurance goal to secure the championship. The team did everyone very proud and spectators (partial of course) were overheard to talk about the team spirit and the team work that was exhibited. There were many plays of beautiful passing between the players and they truly performed like a team.
Several players had noteworthy performances. Matt was one of the leading goal scorers in the tournament with 5 goals including at least one goal in every game. The rest of the team looked to him for inspiration and he responded each time.
Renzo had several plays where he dispossessed the opposition before showing nifty dribbling moves and finishing goals with either foot. He was able to score 4 goals in the tournament and frequently took on players much larger than him.
Nilo showed tremendous heart. He never gave up on any play and easily danced away from defenders when he was given the ball in space. Despite being one of the smallest players in the tournament he scored 1 goal in every game. He served as more of a playmaker in the team frequently advancing the ball to lay it off for his teammates to score.
Roddell made his competitive debut but it will certainly not be his last. He was frequently seen where the ball was and did a good job of protecting the defense.
Sherwin was outstanding in goal. In addition to keeping two clean sheets he exhibited outstanding leadership abilities in managing his defense. He was frequently seen getting his teammates together and studying the opposition. He shows a lot of promise and he continues to get better. He is easily one of the more popular kids with many fans from different villages due to his humble, down to earth nature.
As one of the players with previous tournament experience from Alaska Cup, Andrei was very steady as a central defender. He controlled his area, made many crucial stops and directed his more inexperienced teammates about where to be. Despite very physical matchups, he remained very calm.
I would like to thank the players for letting me coach them today. It was truly an honor to watch some players who were acquaintances at the beginning of the day end the day as the best team in the tournament. Regardless of the results, we were the true winners of the tournament. – Ed