Rob Gier: Zenith Soccer Tours and What’s Next for the Azkals

Rob Gier: Zenith Soccer Tours and What’s Next for the Azkals

Azkals skipper Rob Gier is already preparing for the life after he hangs up his boots. The defender, who has been with the Azkals since 2009, launched Zenith Soccer Tours early this year in the hopes of providing an unforgettable footballing experience for children. The project itself was started in June 2014.

“It just seems like the natural thing for me to do — to stay in football,” said Gier. “The stars just aligned for me to be able to do this.”

Gier took inspiration from the Philippines Under-11 side, popularly known as the Little Azkals, that went to England in 2013 for a series of training camps.

“I wanted to open this opportunity to other kids as well,” said Gier. “Hopefully we can get more kids to have the same experience — what’s it like in England, the home of football.”

The Azkals defender admitted that “the Philippines is a good place to start” and that in the long term, he will expand to other countries. Currently, Zenith Soccer Tours will only hold one camp this year for children aged 11-14. The camp will be from late July until the first week of August.

IMG_1168

“It will be great for them to come along and have a different football experience,” said the 34-year-old. “They will fly to England, train for seven days, watch a live match. It’s not just about the training but also the whole experience.”

Gier held a free training session last Sunday at British School Manila. Azkals teammates, Chris Greatwich of Kaya FC and Simon Greatwich of Loyola Meralco Sparks FC were there to help with the drills. Both the Kaya FC Academy and Loyola Meralco Sparks FC Academy have tied up with Zenith Soccer Tours.

“I know a couple of those guys from those academies but it will not be restricted to them,” said Gier.

IMG_1135

The tours costs P180,000 per head. The package is inclusive of flight tickets, a week’s stay at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, match tickets for an English Premier League match and a chance to visit the historic Wembley Stadium.

Aware that the tour’s price is on the expensive side, Gier still hopes that they can bring less fortunate children on the trip through sponsorships — the defender says that he “wants to open this for everyone.”

“I don’t want this to be open just for the affluent families,” said Gier. “It’s my aim to get people from different backgrounds to come along as well. It’s all for the love of football.”

IMG_1174

Aside from being busy with Zenith Soccer Tours, Gier also said that the Azkals are in for another big year ahead. The World Cup qualifiers kickoff this June. Gier flew to Bahrain on Sunday night for a training camp with the National Team. A match against the Gulf nation is set for March 30.

“We made good progress last year, but we lost a semis and a big final,” said Gier. “Everyone pressed the reset button. There will be big games for us to play and it’s going to be great.”

Gier also talked about the new players trying to break in the Azkals squad saying that “these guys have proven quality to the team.”

“Maybe we are two or three players away from winning the Suzuki Cup or winning a big game in the qualifiers,” added the defender optimistically.

For more information about the Zenith Soccer Tours, check their website at www.zenith-soccertours.co.uk or contact Rob Gier at info@zenith-soccertours.co.uk. — CAL

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment




Updates to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner