From November 25-26, the 22nd annual Alaska Football Cup took place at the Alabang Country Club. The two-day football festival featured many talented teams from across the country, as well as up and coming players who are just starting to introduce their names into the growing futbol community.
Out of the four thousand players in attendance, it was UAAP rookies Anicka Castañeda from the De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines’ Abigail Corvera who proved to be standouts on the pitch.
EXPOSURE IS KEY
While being a rookie on any team can cause the jitters, Corvera has embraced the role. “It’s more than just football, it’s gelling with a new team, with new players and new play style.”
But for UP’s newest defender, she’s absorbed whatever she can out of the AFC, “The competition here [AFC] was tough. Festivals like these are a fun way to get some exposure.” Corvera, together with the UP women’s football squad played in the Ladies’ Open category where they were matched with other competitive clubs such as DLSU, ADMU, Outkast FC, and Down Under FC.
Corvera also talked about how the tournament helped her realize her strengths and weaknesses to work on, “…this is a good place to find out where you are, or where you stand. You also see where you need to improve on for your team and everything.”
A LEVEL HIGHER
On the other hand, Castañeda’s way of battling through rookie challenges is by pushing her limits, “Being a rookie is kind of scary. I just try to do my best and what’s good enough for my team.”
Since her days playing for De La Salle Zobel, the midfielder has always kept her winning ways, competing and finishing strong in various tournaments. In fact, Castañeda is no stranger to the AFC, as she and her team were crowned champions during the past.
She says that the AFC has helped bringing her up to speed for the upcoming season, “It’s given me a lot of exposure, and it also helps the team get used to playing with each other against other tough teams.”
DLSU, with heavy contributions from Castañeda, took home the championship for the Ladies’ Open category. With the experience she’s gained from the two-day tournament, she’s looking to take her career forward. “I hope we [as a team] work together to win a championship. Expect me to give my best to help the team.”
Equipped with the skills and lessons learned from the Alaska Football Cup, both Castañeda and Corvera will enter the UAAP for the first time this coming February. Fans can expect both players to be the exciting and fresh new faces of Philippine women’s football.