Azkals' Gier launches football program in UK
MANILA, Philippines – Azkals team captain Rob Gier has ventured into another aspect of his sport after launching Zenith Soccer Tours in the United Kingdom with the goal of providing enthusiasts an avenue to experience a higher level of football.
A mainstay in the national football team since 2009, Gier, who plays center back for Hellenic Football League-side Ascot United FC, told Rappler that he got the idea to establish his own football-related business two years ago when the Under-11 Azkals went to the UK to train.
“I got the inspiration after going to meet the little Azkals back in 2013 whilst they were on a 3-week camp in the UK,“ he said.
The Filipino-English defender added he wants to continue a similar program due to its success and the impact it made on the young Filipino booters.
“The footballing and life experienced the boys got will undoubtedly help mold them as individuals as they mature and I wanted to be able to give that opportunity to more young Filipino kids. That is why I started up Zenith Soccer Tours, to give young kids an experience they will never forget.”
Gier’s program will be running football camps that will give participants a chance to stay at the world-class Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre where high caliber coaches from professional clubs in the UK will coach them.
Zenith Soccer will also take them to a tour of the different football stadiums in London to watch how top English clubs train and play.
We are now taking bookings for our 2015 soccer camp. contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/TMuzZwg64y— Zenith Soccer Tours (@ZenithSoccer) February 4, 2015
The culminating activity of the whole expedition will be a four-team mini tournament, one team of which will be from a professional football academy
According to the Azkals skipper, he believes the activities his program will provide will not just assist aspiring football players in improving their game but also help them become better individuals.
“I want to give these youngsters some memories they will never forget. I am a firm believer that experiences like our camp and exposure to different environments and cultures at a young age will help develop and shape these children to become more well-rounded individuals, helping to give them confidence to really express who they want to be.”
The 34-year old Philippine international explained although he is still not keen on retiring, he established Zenith Soccer as a way of planning ahead for his life after football.
“I am not ready to hang my boots up just yet but I am getting to the stage in my career where I need to think about life after playing. I firmly believe in this program and it is not only a way of me staying connected with football but also a way for me to help develop the grassroots potential that our Filipino based kids have.
“They [kids] will ultimately be the generation on which the success of football in the Philippines depends, and if I can help in some way to make sure that football continues to grow then I will be happy.”
Gier noted he is currently in contact with football academies in the Philippines with the hopes of having future partnerships with Filipino clubs to help boost the local grassroots program.