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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Internacional de Madrid looks forward to charity match with Azkals

Internacional de Madrid looks forward to charity match with Azkals
by rick olivares

Last Wednesday evening (mid-morning Madrid time), we conducted a Skype interview with Javier Garcia Marquez and Julian Bautista, head coach and captain respectively of Internacional de Madrid, a Spanish Third Division team that will be playing a charity match with the Philippine Men’s Football National Team on Saturday, January 7, 2012.

The Spanish club, which is currently in third place in the 20-team Group 7 of the Madrid cluster of the Trecera Division and will be briefly on leave from their domestic league play to make the Philippine trip, will field their entire lineup of 25 players.

In the Skype interview, Bautista said “It is a nice experience to be able to get out of Spain to play another team like the Azkals.” Internacional’s captain also admitted that they had heard much about the Azkals because they compatriot Angel Guirado is a prominent member of the national side and because of Phil Younghusband whose goal-scoring feats are regularly posted on social media site YouTube. “We will see what we can do against them (the Azkals),” promised Bautista.

Marquez clarified that the event is more than a football match. “It is a celebration of the sport and it has to be beneficial since the objective is to raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Sendong.”

Internacional’s head coach admitted that getting out of the Third Division is the club’s goal for the season. “We want to take the next step. If we are successful in moving to the Segunda Division, that level of competition is considered semi-professional and that gives the team the option to compete in the Copa Tournament and that is a national tournament.

The Spanish club was originally slated to arrive last Thursday but a change in their schedule will instead find Internacional planning into to Manila on Friday, January 6 to a very tight schedule. As soon as the squad arrives, they check into their hotel before a part of the delegation breaks off into the requisite manager’s meeting and pre-match press conference while the larger party goes off to practice. The following day, they play the Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Yet both Marquez and Bautista aren’t worried if their bodies will be up to the task.  “We’re not worried,” expressed Internacional’s skipper. “We’re all excited about the trip and helping out. Instead of worrying about jetlag and if we have our legs, we instead cannot wait to land and to make the most out of our trip. Hopefully, we will have a nice time and play a competitive match.”

Marquez also said that their club is all too aware of the relationship between the Philippines and Spain. “We know how important the Philippines is in the history of Spain. But we also have a brotherhood between our peoples. All you have to do is to look at someone like Angel Guirado whose mother is a Filipina. We have many countrymen who have lived in the Philippines and there are many Filipinos also in Spain.”

The Spanish club hopes that the match will bring more than financial help and attention to the victims of Sendong. “Maybe this can be a start of more coordination and programs between our two countries,” said club chairman Stephen Newman, an expatriate Englishman who put the side together some nine years ago and is married to a Filipina. Newman, who speaks fluent Spanish concluded by saying that event is a win-win situation for all sides regardless of the outcome of the match. “The game does really transcend borders and cultures. And this match is for a good cause.”

No comments:

Post a Comment