Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, February 28, 2011

UP’s Aryee to try out for English club

Ayi Nii Aryee (in white) taking aim at the UST goal.

This article appears in the Tuesday March 1, 2011 edition of the Business Mirror.

UP’s Aryee to try out for English club
by rick olivares with pic by brosi gonzales

When the final whistle of the UAAP Men’s Football Finals match blew to signify the ascension of the University of the Philippines to the summit of college football, it was also the end of the playing years of league Most Valuable Player Stephen Permanes and fellow midfielders Jed Rances and Keith Mordeno. Also unlikely to come back to defend the crown is Jay Eusebio who was unavailable for the finals after suffering an shoulder injury and says he’d now like to move on to the next stage of his life.

Further decimating the talented UP midfield is the possibility that Ghanaian Ayi Nii Aryee might not come back not only to the Fighting Maroons but the Philippines.

“I have gotten an invitation to tryout for an English club,” disclosed Aryee who first got word of the invitation from Italian scout Bonolis Sergio who is based in England.

Aryee, who has scored three goals in the UAAP (and a whole lot more in the University Games) for the Maroons, sought the help of fellow Ghanaian John Mensah who plays central back for English Premier League team Sunderland.

The veteran internationalist, who has been on loan to the English club by French team Olympique Lyon for the past two years, is helping out his countryman land a team in England.

“This is only a trial program,” wrote Sergio to Aryee last February. “It is no way an assurance of a place in a team. Each player will be judged by his skills, techniques, and his ability with the ball on the field of play.”

If the tryout materializes, Aryee will have an opportunity to try out for Southend United FC,  a League Two eleven based in Essex.

The Seasiders, as the team is known fondly by, were League One champions during the 2005-06 season.

Aryee, before joining the Maroons, was once known for having been stranded at the terminal of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport for four months in late 2006 after a failed attempt to join an African team in the Singapore S-League. The Ghanaian, a former striker for his country’s Under-16 national team was also a former player for Union FC in the United Football League.

Business Mirror first reported his saga locally that was in turn mentioned in British football publication FourFourTwo.

Aryee also once received an invitation to try out for French Ligue 1 squad AS Nancy but the youthful striker was prevailed upon by his parents to finish his education at UP before making one last try in the world of professional football.

“I knew about the invitation towards the end of the second round,” revealed Aryee who has one more year of eligibility in the UAAP. “But I could not tell my teammates because it would jeopardize our focus and our mission. Now the coaches know about it and with the season over, we will see if I have a shot. It is every footballer’s dream to get an opportunity to play.”


  1. Europeans recruited someone for playing in the Philippines?! Wow!
    He must be really good, being noticed by the Europeans.

    Congratulations to him.

  2. nope. not at all

  3. Congrats to Aryee!

    Mr. Olivares, can a UAAP football player play for the national team, like in the upcoming SEA games?

  4. yes, a player can suit up for the SEA Games.