The United Football League, the premiere football league in the country, is poised to go to the next level with Rely San Agustin taking over as the new General Manager.
As commissioner of the highly successful University Athletic Association Philippines football tournament last season, Agustin helped collegiate football soar to new heights through creative initiatives such as regular television coverage of the games which were brought to TV screens nationwide.
“I am very excited to be part of the UFL organization. Having been a part of the Philippine football scene all my life, as a player, organizer and fan, the need of taking this league to the next level is the biggest challenge. In order to provide our players with quality competition, we must professionalize,” said San Agustin.
San Agustin represented Ateneo De Manila University at the collegiate level before progressing to the Philippine national team. He enjoyed a brief return to competitive football last year, playing in the 2nd Division for Union Internacional Manila. Aside from his contributions on the pitch, San Agustin continues to appear in UFL matches as an analyst for the TV broadcasts.
Rely has proven savvy in the realm of business as well. As President of RSA-Titan Management Group Inc., a sports marketing consultancy and events management company, he oversaw the successful implementation of the Philippine Goalkeeping Academy, the Ateneo Football League, and the MVP Football Olympics among many others.
“Seeing how our fellow UFL standouts dominated during the AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives, it is a clear indication of how the league has become a huge factor in their development. The program is working and we must continue to build. It’s not going to happen overnight, but as long as the league, the clubs share the same vision, we will not fail.”
The UFL, the biggest and best football league in the Philippines is based in the National Capital Region and governed by the Football Alliance (FA) in partnership with United Football Clubs Association (UFCA).
The league started as semi-professional tournament in 2009. Since then it has grown and continues to thrive because it was organized and still being run by a group of former football players and aficionados. The continued development of football in the Philippines through a premier league is the long-term goal of the Football Alliance.
Since the UFL first started, three clubs have been crowned league champions. Philippine Air Force grabbed the championships in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Stallion Football Club won the title in the 2013 season.
The league is composed of two divisions with 10 clubs per division. The teams play a double round-robin format. Like most football leagues around the world, it adopts the standard point system where match winners receive three points and losers get none. Each club receives a point if the game results in a draw.
The league has adopted the promotion-relegation system. After a season the top two clubs in Division 2 will be promoted to Division 1. The bottom two clubs in Division 1 will be relegated to Division 2.
New ball clubs Ceres-La Salle and Manila Jeepney secured promotion from the 2nd Division to the 1st Division next season.
Not only did both clubs top the highly competitive second tier, but they accomplished the feat in their first complete season playing in the United Football League.
Bacolod-powerhouse Ceres-La Salle claimed the 2nd Division title in style, losing only a single match as they tallied 17 wins and three draws, with only one match left to be played.
The two-time Philippine Football Federation National Club Championship winners have 54 points, scoring a spectacular 89 goals throughout the campaign so far, while conceding only 17.
Ceres-La Salle may have fallen short in the recent AFC President’s Cup, but they can take solace in the fact that they will be joining the top flight of the UFL next season.
In their maiden season as a club, Manila Jeepney’s promotion to the big leagues reflects a commendable rise from initial formation to 2nd Division powerhouse. With Kale Alvarez at the helm, Manila’s official football club wound up with 46 points, consisting of 15 wins, a draw, and five losses.
The shrewd acquisition of key players Jaham Taher, Ref Cuaresma, and Jake Morallo during the March window improved the club significantly at a crucial point of the season.
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