Kaya FC–Iloilo looks to stay perfect in 2019 PFL

DARRYL ROBERTS in action in Kaya FC–Iloilo’s recent 2-0 win over Stallion Laguna.

KAYA FC–Iloilo return to action in the Philippines Football League on Saturday, as they take on Global Cebu at the Rizal Memorial Stadium at 4pm. Victorious in their first two outings of the 2019 season, Noel Marcaida’s side are eager to build on their strong start to the campaign.

“As a team, we will stick together, and treat every single match like a final in trying to get maximum points,” said Kaya’s DarryI Roberts. “I think the key to maintaining the perfect start is that we need to stay united as a team, to try to take whatever we learnt on the practice field and implement it on the game pitch.”

But without a match in two weeks, there are concerns whether Iloilo will be able to muster the same sharpness that has seen the team score six goals without conceding. Kaya’s head coach didn’t seem to concerned over the danger of rustiness.

“The players were able to maximize and take advantage of the long break. The team needed that, as we had an early preseason and an AFC Cup campaign,” he said, before revealing, “We just had a friendly with Ceres Negros. We needed to stay sharp, and they needed to prepare for their AFC Cup ASEAN zone semifinal. There were lots of positives to talk about in that game. Almost everyone played, and each one showed that fire of wanting to play in our upcoming games.

“You can really see that the mindset is positive, that the players want to keep that winning form and maintain a clean sheet record moving forward.”

KAYA head coach Noel Marcaida

Saturday’s encounter will be particularly interesting for Darryl Roberts, who made the jump from Global Cebu in the off season.

“To be on the opposite end of this matchup will be a bit surreal at first, but ultimately business as usual for me,” said the veteran from Trinidad and Tobago. “It would be nice to see and play against some old teammates, but also, I’ll be professional about it and try to help Kaya Iloilo gain maximum points.”

Global haven’t had the best starts to 2019 — winless in their first two games — which, according to Marcaida, makes for dangerous opposition.

“For sure they will want to win the game and bounce back, so we will not take them lightly. We will take responsibility in every opportunity that we have in that game,” he said.