ASPIRING FOOTBALLERS. The best young footballers from the provinces of Camiguin and Misamis Oriental joined the tryouts for the Camiguin-Misamis Oriental Regional Football Association (CMORFA) Under 19 Men's team at the Pelaez Sports Complex in Cagayan de Oro City on March 26, 2022.  A total of 21 young footballers led by former national U16 team player Josh showed up in the initial tryout. (PNA photo by Jack Biantan)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Camiguin-Misamis Oriental Regional Football Association (CMORFA) is slowly assembling a powerhouse U19 (Under 19) football squad.

In an interview Monday, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) B licensed coach Ivan Caiña believes that the team, once finalized, has the potential to be competitive enough to advance to the national stage group.

The team is being formed to hopefully compete in the National U19 Boys National Championship at the Philippine Football Federation's National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite, which is tentatively scheduled on May 25.

“However, we have to work hard on our fitness and how we can be efficient with it because we only have 2-3 weeks of preparation for the regional group stage,” he said.

Caiña is currently conducting the trials in the absence of newly-appointed coach Jerome Dela Peña who is in Cebu for a business meeting.

Another set of tryouts will be held on April 1 at the same venue with Dela Peña expected to lead the trials.

Caiña said a total of 21 of the best young footballers in the region, born in 2003, showed up on the first day of trials held on March 26 at the Pelaez Sports Complex in this city.

Among those who showed up was the former National U16 Philippine team player Josh Go who played for Rosevale School during his elementary days and Corpus Christi High School during his junior high school years.

Go is now a graduating Grade 12 senior student at Lumbia National High School.

He was a member of the Northern Mindanao team that played in the elementary level at the Palarong Pambansa in Albay in 2016. He is an all-around player who could play up front, in the midfield, or at the back.

Another noted footballer who showed up was goalkeeper Andre Ebuna of the Corpus Christi High School who trained for a month in Germany through the Allianz football program.

Josh Go’s four Albay teammates -- Lyle Dy, JL Cascara, John Gementiza, and Raffy Rubio -- also showed up for the trials.

Dy, a Grade 12 student at Rosevale School is a scoring machine and plays attacking midfielder.

Cascara also a Grade 12 student at Rosevale is a shifty winger.
He played for La Salle in Manila when he was in Grade 10 but moved back to Rosevale School when the coronavirus disease 2019  pandemic started.

John Gementiza used to study at Rosevale but has transferred to the University of Science and Technology Philippines (USTP) for his Senior High School.

Raffy Rubio was part of the Philippine National U16 training pool. He is now enrolled at Corpus Christi School.

CMORFA will compete in Group F of the 2nd Division with Butuan-Agusan del Norte RFA, Agusan del Sur-Surigao del Sur RFA, and Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island RFA.

The regional competition is set on April 18 tentatively in Butuan City. (PNA)