There is no doubt that football has gained quite a popularity in the Philippines in the last few months, thanks to the half-Filipino, half-British Younghusband brothers, Phil and James who lead the Azkals team. Their successive wins have attracted a growing fan base composed mostly of teenage girls, never mind if many of them can’t tell an audible from an automatic.
Aside from their passion for football, these 24-year old heartthrobs who were born only eleven months apart revealed to smartparenting.com.ph their vision for football in the Philippines. If their newly-instituted Younghusband Football Academy in Alabang, Muntinlupa is a sign of things to come, then we have much to look forward to.
LDS: Summer is almost here, and parents who are looking for a sport for their young kids are probably asking, why football?
Phil : Whether it’s football or any other sport, it’s important for kids to stay active and stay healthy. The good thing about football is, anyone can play. In basketball, you have to be tall; in rugby, if you want to succeed you have to be big. In football there’s no discrimination – you can be thin, you can be tall, you can be fat – no matter what you are, you can play football. Because there are more players in the game, you meet more people, you socialize and learn to be part of a team.
For us it’s also about self-expression. In basketball you have time-outs and the coach tells you what play to run, or in American football you stop, then you run a play. There’s a lot of set plays, whereas in football, it’s your chance to express yourself, whether you make the wrong decision or right decision it’s up to you.
James: As a little kid you just want to run around, and as Phil said, the good thing about football is that you have to be creative and you have to make your own decisions. I remember when we were younger, during our summer holidays our Dad would sign us up for six weeks of football practice, and we’d say, “aww, we just wanna watch TV!”
LDS: So that’s how you started?
James: Yeah. And then we’d go but at first we’d say “I don’t really want to go”, but once we won, we really enjoyed it, we loved it and we wanted to go everyday. Playing football is better than being at home and being a couch potato and watching TV …
Phil: … or hanging out on the street. Instead of that, you can be socializing with friends, running around, staying active and staying fit. Fitness-wise, football is one of the most demanding sports. Number one is car racing, number two is boxing, and number three is football. If you really want to be fit and play a team sport, then football is ideal.
James: That’s why it also builds confidence for young kids.
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Read more about our interview with James and Phil Younghusband in the next page.