For the 36th consecutive year Makati FC will participate in Gothia Cup. We have talked to the Tomas Lozano, the president of the club, who has brought thousands of Phillipine kids to Gothenburg.
Makati FC from Philippines has become one of the most loyal and popular clubs in the history of Gothia Cup. The club was founded 1976 by the Spaniard Tomas Lozano (in white shirt), a former professional football player of Real Madrid and Lens.
“After I retired from professional football I decided to get married and settled down in the Philippines. Although I retired from professional football my passion for the sport was still high. All my life I surrounded myself with football and lived out my dream of being a professional football player”, he says.
“Wanting to share my experience and knowledge I formed the Makati Football Club in 1976. On the same year with the belief that the foundation of all football growth and advancement lies in the Grassroots, we opened the first football school in the Philippines, Makati Football School (MFS), with the prime objective of introducing and developing the beautiful game of football to the local and surrounding communities of Manila. MFS serves as the instructional arm of the Makati Football Club.”
During a trip to Europe in the beginning of the 80’s he visited Gothenburg and Gothia Cup – and a long en until now lasting relationship started. He brought one team to Gothenburg, then another and another…
“As part of our commitment to youth development MFC wanted to provide our players the necessary exposure and experience to accelerate their growth and developmental skill in the sport and to provide our players an opportunity to learn to appreciate the sport from a totally different perspective.”
“We did a lot of research on several international youth tournament and Gothia Cup easily stood out, it offered much more than just football and this was exactly what we wanted our players to experience. This memorable and lifetime experience is the reason why we bring our players to participate in Gothia Cup each year.
He has lost the count on how many players he has brought to Gothia Cup, but it is about 3,000. Around 130 teams from Makati has travelled to Gothenburg.
“There are numerous reasons why we continue to bring teams to Gothia Cup. To name a few the amazing tournament is always well organized with a wonderful opening ceremony, it provides our players probably the best cultural experience they ever can have, meeting many amazing people and making friends sharing the same passion, the great atmosphere of camaraderie and friendship amongst the youth around the world was simply amazing and many, many more.”
What does Gothia Cup mean for the kids?
“Gothia as repeatedly said is a memorable and lifetime experience. We have many kids who are now adults and have family of their own and to this day they have treasured their memories of Gothia Cup. They have also their children participating presently in Gothia Cup.”
And for you, what does Gothia Cup mean?
“For me Gothia Cup will always have a special place in my heart. It is always a challenge in organizing a trip to Sweden to participate in Gothia Cup, you invest a lot of effort and energy. There are a lot of responsibilities in taking care of young and very young players but every time I see the smiles on the kid’s faces I feel great joy and true fulfillment.”
This year Makati FC participate in Gothia Cup with two teams in B13 and one in B14.
This post is also available in: Svenska