The Philippine national beach soccer team made its introduction to Filipino fans Tuesday night, but in an unpleasant way: the Filipinos got drubbed by powerhouse Iran, 20-0, in their first match in the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Asian qualifiers in Qatar.
Despite lagging in experience behind their counterparts, the Dolphins might soon be sparked by their newest acquisition: Kapatid hunk and “Kidlat” star Derek Ramsay.
“Mr. Derek Ramsay is also part of the team and is our official beach soccer ambassador,” said Rea Villa, the secretary-general of the Beach Football Association of the Philippines. “(He) is a successful actor but is also a serious athlete. He maintains his fitness and has soccer experience.”
Aside from being a popular actor and endorser, Ramsay also plays a variety of sports, serving as a team captain of the national ultimate frisbee team and having a stint with Toyota Otis in the now-defunct Philippine Basketball League.
Ramsay could also contribute something valuable to the squad, and not merely draw shrieks from adoring female fans, according to Villa.
“His impact is tremendous, not only because he is an actor with a good image but also has the dedication of a true athlete. This is seen in his national frisbee team, etc.,” Villa said.
While Ramsay might have bolstered the Dolphins’ campaign in their Beach Soccer World Cup campaign, he, unfortunately, is unable join the squad due to his commitments to his new primetime show “Kidlat,” where he plays the title role.
“He tried his best to change his schedule but it is understandable that “Kidlat” just started. I think if Derek knows ahead of time, the schedule of the practices, tournaments and international matches, he would find time to make it work,” Villa said.
But Ramsay himself didn’t fail to cheer for his team. Weeks before the tournament, he asked his followers on Twitter to support the Dolphins in their World Cup campaign.
“Guys let’s support the national beach football team. They will compete in qatar to qualify for the world cup,” he wrote on Twitter.
Playing against tough opposition in their World Cup campaign, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dolphins head to an early exit in the tournament. But Villa hopes that with Ramsay now on board, the team, and beach soccer in general, would finally propel to the national consciousness soon.
“We hope that when we come back, we have solutions to fix our challenges,” Villa said. “Hopefully, he could participate in the Asian Beach Games next year and our national tournaments this year.”