THE first ever grassroots tournament for kids in the Land of Promise, the Mindanao Cup 2019, is expected to be a big success story after 12 teams from all over the island have confirmed their participation on Oct. 22-25 at the Tionko field in Davao City.
Organizers have announced that the 12 teams have already submitted their P5,000 returnable bond to insure their participation.
The teams come from Bukidnon FA, Butuan-Agusan del Norte FA, Iligan-Lanao del Norte-Lanao del Sur FA, Maguindanao-Cotabato City FA, Mount Apo RFA, Sultan Kudarat FA, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands RFA, and Zamboanga del Norte-Dipolog FA.
Host Davao City will field in two teams while a team from Cagayan de Oro City will also compete.
Teams from Agusan del Sur-Surigao del Sur, Golden Davao RFA, South Cotabato-Sarangani-General Santos RFA, Zamboanga Basilan Sulu Tawi-Tawi RFA, and Zamboanga del Sur-Pagadian RFA have signified their intentions and may submit their bonds this week.
The tournament is organized by Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA) president Ricky Yanson Jr. and the Davao City FA.
Teams are expected to be in Davao City on Oct. 22 for the screening of the players credentials in the afternoon.
The opening ceremonies and the elimination round will be in the morning of Oct. 23 until the morning of Oct. 24. The quarterfinals is set in the afternoon of Oct. 24.
The semis, championship matches and the awarding ceremonies will be on Oct. 25. Teams are expected to leave for home the next day.
The Mindanao Cup is the off shoot of the annual NOFA Cup held at the Sta. Maria field in Talisay, Negros Occidental.
The NOFA Cup is an Initiative by Yanson to discover young and talented footballers from all over the country. Top players were then selected to form the NOFA team that represented the country in China.
From the NOFA Cup, young and talented players like the ‘Whiz Kid’ from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental Elizah Zedric Ballesteros, the ‘Little Maradona’ from Kidapawan Kurt Sarip, ‘The Tiny Messi’ from Muntinlupa Jax Pena, 'The deadly but smiling mestizo’ Julio Yoldi from Dumaguete City, Lucas Andan, Adrian Bacolod, Earl Siconieguem, and Viggo Louis Herce were discovered and have represented the country in various youth tournaments abroad.
Hopefully talented young players from the Mindanao Cup will also be discovered and nurtured to later on be tapped to represent the country.