by leonard paul palo
The transfer of former Philippine Azkals stalwarts Phil and James Younghus-band after six years with the Loyola football club is expected to do some won-ders for the beleaguered team in the ongoing Phi-lippine Football League. The supposed transfer was announced on Saturday, July 29.
The Davao Aguilas, a new team owned by Aus-tralia-based Filipino busi-nessman Jefferson Cheng, is currently second to last in the Philippine Football League, with five draws from 11 games and no wins. Loyola is second in the league with 24 points, just two off top club Kaya.
The Younghusband brothers are just the latest acquisition for Davao, which also acquired former Azkals Matt Hartmann and Nick O’Donnell from Global and picked up ano-ther ex-Azkals player in Jason de Jong from Ceres during the ongoing transfer window.
“It is with great sad-ness that FC Meralco Ma-nila announces today that James Younghusband and Phil Younghusband will be leaving the club and trans-ferring to Davao Aguilas FC during the current PFL transfer window,” FC Meralco Manila posted on its Facebook account.
“We made an earnest attempt to keep James and Phil in Manila with an offer of a contract extension. But the brothers elected to pursue this opportunity with Davao. They asked for a release from their current contract and we have granted it, allowing them to sign with the Aguilas.”
The Filipino-British brothers had played in the Chelsea youth system back in England before joining Loyola when Meralco assumed ownership in 2011. With the brothers, Loyola – now FC Meralco Manila – won the 2013 UFL Cup and 2015 Smart PFF championship.
Official stats are hard to establish, but it’s widely assumed that Phil Younghusband is the club’s all-time leading scorer.
Phil Younghusband, who has 6 goals so far this season, will turn 30 next Friday, August 4, while James, who has 5, will be 31 on September 4.