Petterson on football Philippines style

Petterson on football Philippines style

Posted on August 5, 2017 in 'News'

Former ECU Joondalup goalkeeping coach Andy Petterson is enjoying life and football in the Philippines Football League with new franchise Illocos United, and this week we caught up with him to talk about his time at the club.

1. How’s life treating you in the Philippines mate?

“It was definitely a culture shock at first but after being here for four months now I have started to adapt and really enjoying the experience so far. The club is based in the Province of Ilocos, in the City of Vigan, which is a UNESCO World Heritage City. Vigan is located eight hours North of Manila and has a very relaxed lifestyle compared to Manila. As we are in Manila every couple of weeks, I get to experience both the hustle and bustle of Manila and the serenity of Vigan which is a good mix.”

2. It is the first season for Ilocos United – how is the club set up?

“The club has a distinctive Australian feel with our CEO being Australian Businessman Tony Lazaro and Head Coach Ian Gillan (a former coach at Perth Glory). Ian is an AFC Pro-Diploma holder and also worked with Steve Amphlett and myself when we were in charge of the 1st team at ECU. As IUFC is a new club, it has been difficult in implementing all the practices, procedures and infrastructure that a professional club needs. The club management has worked tirelessly and been rewarded with the most professional footballing set-up in the Philippines. As for the football department staff, I don’t think there is much better in the country with a physiotherapy and sports science second to none. Ian has brought in a high level of professionalism to the club/team that has other clubs taking notice and trying to replicate. I work under Ian as Assistant Coach, combined with GK coach and learn something new every day. It is challenging and something I am thoroughly enjoying.”

3. How’s the season going?

“This is the first season of the newly formed Philippines Football League which consists of eight teams who play in league system similar to the Hyundai A-League with each team playing each other four times over the season with the top four progressing to the finals series to determine the Champions. Ilocos United FC were one of the last teams accepted into league which really only gave us six weeks to assemble a squad and try and fit three months preseason training into half that time to be ready for the kick off of the season. So, to do what we have done has been nothing short of amazing as we have produced a very competitive team who are one of the fittest in the league in a very short period of time. Results haven’t quite been what we would have liked so far and we are probably 3-4 players short of a squad that could be up there competing for a finals spot. With the transfer window now open we are looking at adding some quality with which the results we are looking for should come.”

4. What is the standard of football in the Philippine league like – compared to the NPLWA?

“Obviously with the PFL being a full time professional league the standard is much higher than the NPLWA with the players here being exposed to a professional environment that is on a par with other countries within South East Asia. The Philippine National team are currently the No.1 FIFA ranked country in South East Asia and with PFL club Ceres FC next week playing in the AFC Cup final against Singaporean side Home United the future for Philippine Football is looking bright. To be honest with the introduction of the PFL this year it means football in this country can only grow stronger.”

5. In the league, is there any players who we would know, who have played a high level or any Aussies?

“Yes, there are several ex A League players here in the Philippines with players like Tahj Minniecon (Brisbane Roar, Gold Coast United and West Sydney Wanderers), Iain Ramsay (Adelaide United and Melbourne City) Brad McDonald (Central Coast Mariners) and we have former Newcastle Jets Youth Team Captain, Andrew Pawiak with us here at Ilocos United.

6. So what’s next for Andy Petterson, have you another year on your contract?

“At this moment in time my contract expires at the end of December this year and I do have the option of another two years which fits in with the club management’s timeline of becoming one the biggest and best clubs in the PFL and also the ambition of qualifying for the Asian Champions League. I’m excited by the prospect of all of this and all being well I will be here to see these plans come to fruition but as I come to learn over the years with football anything can happen so let’s see what the future brings.”

Thanks Andy all the best from everyone at the Jacks