Azkals and Ceres-Negros FC captain Stephan Schröck said that when his playing career ends, he will still be involved in the Philippine football community.
Schröck said football gave him the life he has today, and that the future may likely lead him to an advocacy of teaching football to less fortunate children.
“Every day is a learning experience and an opportunity to give back to the community,” he said in the second episode of E-Sports International’s podcast, “Heroes of Halftime.”
“I want to help kids become very good at something, not just football. I want to help them be good in school and in life because football is only 3 hours of your day and the 21 hours is about life. There is more to life than just football.”
Schröck said his vision is to open a football academy after his playing days, one that will provide opportunities for aspiring football players outside of Metro Manila.
“The Philippines is full of talented athletes. If only the government would help support these players, the results would be unbelievable. The Filipino athletes have so much potential and hopefully I can help them achieve their dreams and give their families a better life,” he said.
The 33-year-old said he has come to understand that many Filipinos still do not see football as a viable career. Professional football players in the country can fetch a six-digit salary, which Schröck said would be an economic advantage to those aiming to lift themselves up from poverty.
“Many Filipino children are breadwinners for their families and they often have P18,000 to P30,000 salaries. But if you can play football, willing to work hard and make sacrifices, then football can be a viable source of income,” Schröck said.
But he acknowledged that reaching the level of competitive football will not be easy, as the sport is very competitive.
“I am not the tallest or the fastest or the most skillful football player you’ve ever seen, definitely not. But if you are willing to put in the work and make sacrifices you will make it very far in this sport,” he said.
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