Stephan Schröck signed with Ceres-Negros FC last month to strengthen what has been deemed the most talented football roster in the Philippines today. The versatile footballer returned Saturday in Bacolod brimming with excitement with the games ahead.
“Very excited to be back,” said Schröck . “(Its been a) long seven months without the Philippines, without Ceres, without Bacolod, and happy that its less than a week for me for my first game,” added the Bundesliga veteran.
The Filipino international returns to Ceres on a free transfer, after being loaned-out to the Bacolod squad for the whole of 2016. It took a while before his return after his contract was mutually terminated by him and the club. “There were a lot of things I had to through the last six seven months. I was still under contract in Germany but in the end we figured it out,” said the many-time national team player.
His arrival just came in time with Ceres’ preparation for the second-leg semifinal with Johor Darul Ta’zim and the club’s home debut in the Philippines Football league. Being ineligible at this stage of the AFC Cup, Schröck hopes for a good result in the return leg and maybe a chance on the roster come Saturday. “I wish that the team does good against JDT for the second leg and I’m confident that they will go through. I will play my first game with Global. I hope I will be on the list or on the bench. Looking forward to it and I’m just excited.”
Schröck has been intently following the team in the continental stage and has been greatly impressed on what they have achieved. “There were many difficult games for the team to go through”, said the Ceres midfielder. “The coaching staff and management have formed a very strong squad in the last few months. That’s why the team did so well the last games even with the loss in Malaysia. They can be very proud of this result and have a good opportunity to go through the final on Wednesday.”
The former SpVgg Greuther Fürth player still believes that the team has yet to reach its ceiling this season. “Overall everybody can be happy with the stage right now but still, here and there, we can do better and I will bring in my part for that,” said Schröck. ” I stayed ready the whole seven months so I will try to help with everything I have in every situation on and off the pitch. That my personality, how I was born and raised. There will be a good boost for the team as soon as I join,” he added.
Ceres will play JDT on Wednesday night but will also have their PFL home debut against Global FC on Saturday and Schröck is looking forward to the match. “Global is a very good team. They won the championship last season so there’s a big rivalry between the two clubs. But still there’s respect for each other. We’re looking forward to it (the match), to get the three points. We want to get the championship this season and be the first champion in the new league.”
Aside from the matches, the Ceres dynamo is also eager to play in front of the passionate supporters this coming season. “I’m one of the lucky players who gets the experience and the support of these kind of fans. They’re so excited and so supportive towards the team. Myself and the whole team are very thankful for this chance to play for the supporters. We hope that for every single home game we have, we can perform a hundred percent in a good, full, sold-out stadium.”
With one training session done and many more to go this week, it’s only a matter of time till we see Schröcky back in the Yellow and Black.
Photo from Stephen Tan