United City Football Club (UCFC) has announced that it has retained the services of talented midfielder Stephan Schröck as it slowly molds the team in preparation for a title run in the Philippine Football League (PFL).
The signing was announced by UCFC on its social media pages on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
A team captain of the Philippine national team, more popularly known as the Azkals, Schröck shrugged off numerous offers to play abroad and chose to sign on with the team formerly known as Ceres-Negros FC.
“Having Stephan commit to stay at the new club means a lot not just to the organization but also to the fans. He is the captain and the leader of the team and that is what is needed especially since we are trying to establish our new identity on and off the field,” said Eric Gottschalk, who is the co-founder of UCFC.
Gottschalk said Schröck’s signing was a huge milestone and it shows the captain’s trust in the vision of the new ownership group that recently took over the decorated football squad.
“It would have been a big loss for Philippines football if the captain would leave the PFL to compete elsewhere. His commitment to the local league shows his seriousness of trying to make a difference but also his trust in our vision for the club”, added Gottschalk.
Gottschalk relayed that he and Schröck have had numerous discussions over the last few weeks as to what his career arc would be and they agreed that he not only be an asset on the field but off of it as well as he functions as playing assistant coach and trainer.
“We had many talks over the past few weeks and Stephan is very clear of where he wants to go: he wants to be able to compete at the highest level and be able to win more tiles but he also wants to prepare for his second career once he steps off the field,” said Gottschalk.
“So our objectives are aligned perfectly well. So, for the 2020 season, Stephan will not only lead the team on the field as “Captain” but also off the field as a playing-assistant coach/trainer, as a first step to fulfill his ambition to become a fully certified football coach in the coming years”, Gottschalk added.
“We will try to retain the key local talents and support the development of the PFL so we can start bringing some of the players back to the Philippines rather than losing them to rival leagues in Thailand or Indonesia”.
The announcement of the UCFC 2020 squad is expected to be held towards the end of this week. (JNP)