What was merely a hashtag is now finally going to be a reality.
After much prodding from social media, the NCRFA finally provided the sanction needed for the United Football League - Youth a.k.a. the UFL Youth League to push through without any hitches and irregularities.
According to Ramon Garcia of the Football Alliance, "In the spirit of our two associations common interest in club football, its development in harmony with those involved, and in our desire to promote the principle of solidarity, cooperation, and unity among all stakeholders of the NCRFA, the NCR Youth Football Clubs Association and the United Football Clubs Association have formalized our cooperation through a memorandum of understanding to work towards establishing an effective and stable framework that will ensure a bright future for club football".
There will be an 8am opening ceremony for the UFL Youth League on the morning of April 27, Saturday, at the Emperador Stadium. It had been originally pegged to take place a week earlier, but it was moved to ensure that sanction would have been secured.
After the ceremony, the first match in the league will commence at 930am, a U-17 match between Nomads and Green Archers United. The U-13 and U-19 divisions will open play in the afternoon, while the U-15, U-11 and U-9 matches will begin play on Sunday, April 28. Matches will be conducted at the Emperador Stadium, as well as ASCOM, Evia Football Field, the University of Makati Football Fied and at Nuvali.
All in all, over 1,600 children representing the youth / academy set-ups of the different UFL clubs of Div I (Global, Loyola Meralco, Kaya, Pachanga Diliman, Pasargad / PSG, Nomads, Green Archers United, Army) and II (Socceroo, Forza Alabang, Agila, Union Internacional - Manila, Dolphins United FC and Manila All-Japan) will be participating within the six age groups noted earlier. All six divisions will take part in a single round-robin format, with the finals tentatively set in June. Arguably, the highest profile name to be involved with the UFL Youth League is Kaya FC winger and Philippine International call-up OJ Porteria, who is young enough to be eligible to participate with Kaya's U-19 team.
The schedules for the first weekend of the UFL Youth League can be seen below.